Ground Track

Ground track is the path traced by a satellite on the Earth’s surface as it orbits around the planet. It is determined by the satellite’s orbital parameters, including its altitude, inclination, and eccentricity.

Visualising the ground track can be done by connecting the successive points where the satellite crosses the Earth’s surface, creating a line that represents the satellite’s trajectory from a global perspective. This line represents the projection of the satellite’s orbital path onto the Earth’s surface.

The ground track is influenced by various factors, including the satellite’s orbital period and the rotation of the Earth. Satellites with different orbital characteristics will have distinct ground tracks. For example, satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) typically have shorter orbital periods and travel at higher speeds, resulting in ground tracks that exhibit more rapid movement across the Earth’s surface. On the other hand, satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) have longer orbital periods and remain fixed relative to a specific point on the Earth’s surface.