Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)

Medium earth orbit refers to a specific region in space situated between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO). MEO satellites occupy an altitude range typically between 2,000 to 36,000 kilometres (1,243 to 22,300 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

MEO satellites are commonly known for their significant role in global navigation systems, with the most prominent example being the Global Positioning System (GPS). These satellites form a constellation that provides precise positioning, navigation, and timing services to users worldwide. By deploying multiple satellites in MEO, the GPS system ensures that a sufficient number of satellites are visible from any given location on Earth, enabling accurate positioning and navigation capabilities.

The primary purpose of MEO satellites, particularly those in navigation systems like GPS, is to transmit signals that are received and processed by ground-based receivers. These signals contain precise timing information, allowing users to calculate their position with a high level of accuracy. GPS receivers triangulate signals from multiple satellites in view to determine their location, velocity, and time information.