What Is A Satellite? How Do They Work? – Things You Need To Know

If you watch TV at home or even access the internet and cellular networks to make calls, it is all possible because of the use of a satellite. The best satellite internet options will provide high-speed internet to your home allowing you to complete your day-to-day tasks seamlessly.

These are big spacecraft-like machines that get launched into outer space with a specific purpose. These purposes include providing radio signals to all telecommunications devices, sending pictures of the Earth and its weather to forecasting stations, tracking traffic and devices to update GPS devices, and many more.

In addition, according to NASA, apart from these man-made machines, planets and moons that revolve around the sun are also termed as such. 

If you want to know more about these devices, then you have come to the right place. In this article, you will get to know lots of interesting facts that we believe you must know.

What Is A Satellite?

What Is A Satellite

In the words of NASA, the meaning of satellite is an object that revolves around stars. These include all planets, moons, and even asteroids constantly rotating around the sun. 

However, an object can be called such even if it’s not rotating around a star. This includes all objects that orbit around another body with a big mass and its own gravitational force. Therefore, you can say that the moon revolving around the Earth is a satellite. 

Apart from these, there are also man-made satellites. When we use this word, these are the objects that get referred to. This is because planets and stars get referred to as astronomical bodies. Only NASA refers to planets and stars as such. 

There are thousands of satellites swarming around Earth, with even more waiting to join them. It is difficult to find out how many satellites are in space to be exact as satellites are constantly being launched and decommissioned.

Types Of Satellites

Types Of Satellites

The two distinct types are:

1. Natural 

These refer to planetary bodies that exist in outer space. As explained briefly before, all planets, stars, and asteroids that revolve around a bigger body with a bigger gravitational pull can be referred to as such.

2. Artificial 

These refer to machines that we create to conduct tasks. These are the machines you have heard about and seen in various movies. They orbit Earth and can also orbit around other planets and asteroids. Their main purpose is to collect data and transmit it back to Earth. 

Parts Of A Satellite

Parts Of A Satellite

The various parts are:

1. Antenna

The antenna is one of the primary parts of this machine that transmits information back to the Earth to its control station. This device uses radio waves to send and receive data from its control station. This device is also responsible for sending all the signals that provide the various types of internet that you use in your broadband satellite internet connection. 

2. Solar Power Source

A black knight satellite needs a power source to stay afloat in space and power all its functions. Therefore, it uses the best available source of energy in outer space – the sun’s rays. All such machines have solar panels attached to them. It converts sunlight into electrical energy that powers all its functions.

3. Altitude Control

Altitude control is a unique device that gets installed in such machines. This is done to ensure that they maintain their altitude in outer space and maintain their orbital route around the Earth. If necessary, it can also perform slight adjustments to its course and altitude. 

4. Imager

An Imager is a machine that typically gets placed in weather and GPS tracker machines. An Imager captures thermal images of the Earth’s surface, measuring its contours. This helps separate the various landforms on the Earth, like its water bodies, forests, plains, and urban landscapes. 

5. Sensor

The sensor’s job is to measure the various weather patterns around the Earth, like spikes of thermal energy, nuclear energy, and lots more. It can also measure the surface temperature of the Earth and its rotational flow using quantum mechanics.

How Do Satellites Orbit The Earth?

How Do Satellites Orbit The Earth

Satellites can orbit around the Earth using kinetic energy from the momentum generated by it moving at high speeds. Therefore, all mechanical bodies that get placed above a distance of 100kms from Earth’s surface need to move.

This means that anything above this distance (referred to as the Karman Line) needs to move at a speed of a minimum of 8km per second to not crash on Earth.

Therefore, such mechanisms around Earth need to move at this speed to maintain their momentum. This is how they float around the earth’s orbit without getting affected by Earth’s gravitational pull. 

Why Don’t Satellites Crash Into Each Other?

When a Starlink satellite tracker gets launched into outer space, the control center that is responsible for monitoring it ensures great details. This includes the orbital trajectory of the spacecraft and the speed at which it moves.

They ensure that their trajectories do not collide and are at a safe distance from each other. Many spacecraft orbit the Earth’s atmosphere near the equator, while others orbit around the poles. This depends on its purpose. 

Uses Of Satellites

Uses Of Satellites

In today’s digitally interconnected world, satellites have become indispensable tools that cater to a wide range of needs. From enhancing global communications to monitoring Earth’s climate, satellites are pivotal in shaping our modern way of life. In this part of the article, I will delve into the multifaceted uses of satellites, shedding light on their significance in various domains.

Its various uses include the following:

1. Military Recon

Many spacecraft are used for military reconnaissance missions to provide intel about enemy formations. This is vital in warfare because intel about enemy forces will significantly help the military forces to carry out their missions with 100% efficacy. These crafts also scan for thermal imaging of an area to find signs of enemy encampments and even signs of enemy spacecraft.

2. Forecasting Weather

Weather forecasting is the most common use of such machines. In addition, there are various machines in outer space that monitor wind movements. Observing them and the formation of atmospheric depressions helps geologists predict regions’ weather accurately. 

3. Direct To Home (DTH) Networks

When you switch on the TV and see live sports, this is with the help of radio waves sent through satellites. All television channels have various signals that get sent from the control center to these machines to get redirected to various set-top boxes and cable network transponders so that we can see them. 

4. GPS Navigation

GPS satellites, part of the satellite constellation, empower us with accurate navigation, mapping, and location-based services. These satellites enable us to pinpoint our exact location, helping us navigate unfamiliar terrain, find nearby amenities, and optimize transportation routes.

Google uses such orbital crafts to ensure that it can tap your phone’s network to track you. This is how Google Maps and other GPS maps work. The Google satellite tracks your location and provides you with information on reaching another location, done by surface mapping and imaging.

5. Telecommunications Networks

Satellites play a crucial role in providing seamless telecommunications and internet connectivity. Geostationary satellites orbiting high above the Earth facilitate long-distance voice and data transmission. These orbiting marvels ensure that even remote and underserved regions can stay connected, fostering global communication and bridging digital divides.

The cellular network in our phones is because of such machines. They allow wireless connectivity across most areas of the world. This gets done by using network towers that catch these signals and redirect them to smartphones.

6. Scientific Research And Space Exploration

Governments rely heavily on satellites for national security and defense purposes. They assist in surveillance, intelligence gathering, and military communication. Satellites also play a critical role in monitoring potential threats and safeguarding borders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q1. What Is A Satellite Used For?

They are used for cellular networks providing internet, scanning for thermal readings, measuring the Earth’s topography, and weather forecasting.

Q2. What Is Satellite And Types?

There are two types – manufactured and natural (planetary).

Q3. Which Is Called Earth’s Satellite?

Moon is referred to as such.

Q4. Do Satellites Give Us Internet?

Yes, they provide us with internet connectivity.


Satellites are one of the most important machinations created by humankind. They allow us to conduct various tasks that are only possible from outer space. For example, they provide the cellular network in mobile phones and even deliver the signals for television channels to display content directly to our screens.

They are also used to map the surface of the Earth and p[rovie details about its topography. It also scans for thermal signatures and tracks and measures wind patterns so that it can accurately measure the weather.
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Debamalya Mukherjee

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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      Debamalya Mukherjee

      Debamalya Mukherjee

      Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

      Tech Trends Pro