Answered October 14 2019
The term “satellite” is used to describe a whole range of entities in space – from man-made space stations to astronomical bodies such as moons of planets. NASA describes a satellite as a moon, planet, or machine that orbits a planet or star. Satellites are generally classified to be natural or artificial satellites.
Artificial satellites are man-made satellites, as opposed to natural satellites that refer to moons and planets. Powerful rockets launch satellites and put them into orbit. They serve various purposes including communication, navigation, military, and research.
A satellite stays in orbit by obtaining a balance between two main factors – its velocity and the gravitational pull of the body that it orbits. Attaining this balance takes massive engineering preparation and comprehensive knowledge in physics.
Huge rockets launch satellites into space with a thrust that overcomes the pull of gravity. These travel at upwards of 25,000 miles per hour! At these precise trajectories, rockets would drop the satellite into an orbit that it would follow in space. The initial velocity provided by the rocket launch can keep the satellite in orbit for hundreds of years.
The two essential parts that are usually found satellites are the antenna and the power source. The antenna sends and receives information from the satellite to the base location (i.e. Earth). The power source supplies energy to the satellite and its components – this is usually in the form of solar panels or a battery system.
Given that various satellites offer a broad range of applications, different types of satellites might have unique and specialized components within them. Some satellites orbiting the Earth, for example, will have high-tech photography and imaging devices. These allow us to capture a view of the planet and its vast land and ocean forms, and atmosphere.
Unlike some of your household appliances, satellites are not as easily serviced and repaired – and they’re not exactly designed to be! Satellites are very expensive to produce and to send out to space, so extreme measures must be made to ensure that repairs once in space are kept at the absolute minimum. When satellites malfunction or exhaust all their fuel, they are typically decommissioned and will ultimately stop operations.
For larger satellites with significant scientific value such as the Hubble Telescope, design considerations were made to allow astronauts to perform service missions. These missions prolong the Hubble Telescope’s life through the replacement of old parts and through upgrades to improve its functions.
We’re seeing a transformation in the future of how satellites are serviced. Robotics and unmanned missions are promising opportunities to extend satellite lifespans. These are possible methods to allow updates and upgrades to already existing satellites in space.
Latest Maintenance Articles
How to Create a PLC Maintenance Checklist
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About CMRP Certification
What Are the Risks and Benefits of Using a PLC?
Comprehensive Guide to Building a Maintenance Excellence Team (Part 1: Crawl)
What You Need to Know About ISO 41001 Certification and Compliance
Why Your Maintenance Team Should Be Trained as CMMS Superusers
Oil & Gas
The best time for highway construction is usually at night because the volume of traffic is much less than during the day.
Major universities in California are canceling classes, closing campus buildings, and saving generator power in response to wildfires.
Ticket fare evasion is when a person or group of people simply don’t pay for a ticket. Some people see it as a challenge, financial burden, or legal concern
Municipalities and cities can use IoT (the Internet of Things) to dramatically improve their productivity, public safety, general efficiency, and more.
Five of the top CMMS features for government maintenance include: tracking costs, reducing downtime, budgeting, scheduling, and planning effectively.
The government spends only 43 percent of its transportation infrastructure budget on more than 98 percent of our country’s roads.