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Encyclopedia > Intermediate circular orbit

Intermediate circular orbit (ICO), also called medium earth orbit (MEO), is used by satellites between the altitudes of low earth orbit (up to 1400 km) and geostationary orbit (ca. 36,000 km). GPS uses a MEO satellite constellation.

Medium earth orbit communications systems

The Global Positioning System uses a MEO satellite constellation.

ICO was the name of a proposed communications constellation for satellite telephony, originally developed by Inmarsat and spun off. In the wake of the financial failure of the Iridium satellite constellation, ICO also entered bankruptcy protection and delayed launching its satellites.

Another proposed system was Teledesic.

External links

  • information on ICO - Lloyd's satellite constellations (http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/constellations/ico.html)
  • official ICO website (http://www.ico.com/)

  Results from FactBites:
Wikinfo | Orbit (1890 words)
As an object orbits another object, periapsis is that point at which the orbiting object is closest to the object being orbited; apoapsis is that point at which the orbiting object is farthest from the object being orbited.
An open orbit has the shape of a hyperbola (or in the limiting case, a parabola); the bodies approach each other for a while, curve around each other around the time of their closest approach, and then separate again forever.
The orbit of a planet around the Sun is an ellipse, with the Sun in one of the focal points of the ellipse.
Low Earth orbit (192 words)
A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit in which objects such as satellites are below intermediate circular orbit (ICO) and far below geostationary orbit, but typically around 350 - 1400 km above the Earth's surface.
Orbits lower than this are not stable, and will decay rapidly because of atmospheric drag.
A low earth orbit is a stepping-stone to travel beyond orbit but it is also very useful for communication satellites because of its proximity to Earth.
  More results at FactBites »



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