This book treats the subject of satellite orbits, showing how the wide range of available orbits can be put to use to satisfy the needs of fields as varied as communications, positioning, remote-sensing, meteorology, and astronomy. The satellite is first discussed in the context of the laws of space mechanics. The various categories of orbit (circular, elliptical, high, low, geostationary, and sun-synchronous) are then presented, together with the problem of sampling (when and how the satellite views its target). There is then a study of specific cases, in particular, applying all the ideas encountered for earth-orbiting satellites to the case of a satellite in orbit around Mars. The arguments are supported by a great many applications, figures and illustrations, with over a thousand satellites cited explicitly. The whole work is based on two pieces of software: IXION (orbitography and sampling) and ATLAS (cartography), both developed by the author himself. The book will be useful for researchers, university teachers and students working in the satellite area. School teachers, geographers, and engineers using images taken from space, as well as anyone involved in space exploration will find it a precious resource.

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