Talk:Communications satellite

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Lead section vagueness cleanup recommendations[edit]

Describing a communications satellite "used for television, telephone, radio, internet, and military applications" seems vague and possibly misleading complete beginners to develop a conceptual model that radio is some distinct thing from internet, telephone, etc. Additionally, a communications satellite, I assume, could communicate in ways beyond standard radio communications. A better descripotion might be "uses digital and analog radio technology to provide services including telephony (voice communications), data transmission, internet services and television/media; they are used extensively by governments, militaries and private entities." This still isn't quite good enough yet but I would like some feedback on the sentiment of not conflating the word 'radio' with too many meanings in this type of article. EspritsPréparés (talk) 16:14, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

"First communications satellite" Cleanup[edit]

So, we start out with "The first artificial satellite used solely to further advances in global communications was a balloon named Echo 1" and then we say "The first American satellite to relay communications was Project SCORE in 1958" so right off we're, from one paragraph to another, contradicting ourselves. And then in the next paragraph, we have "The first communications satellite was Sputnik 1.". So, which was the first communications satellite? Sputnik 1? Echo 1? or Project SCORE? You can't claim all three are the first within sentences of one another. I'd like to clean this up but I need advice on how. Insidious611 (talk) 05:32, 2 April 2015 (UTC)


As part of a clean-up of the bloated telecommunication categories I removed Category:History of telecommunications and Category:History of television. The category of the article is adequately categorised already and they ones I remove don't fit in. A potential History of satellite communications would be a good fit for Category:History of telecommunications. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:02, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

I see that Category:History of television is already a subcategory of Category:History of telecommunications, so having both was definitely overkill. It seems like "History of satellite communications" could easily be a subcategory of Category:History of telecommunications and a "peer" of the television category.
On a separate note, I noticed that a majority of "History of" topics seem to be sorted under the subject (not under "History"), but there are still some under "H". WP:SORTKEY seems to prefer the sorting under the subject (i.e., Internet:History of). Should I go in and fix this, or would this bring back old wars (I haven't done much category work)? Don Lammers (talk) 12:44, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
The sortkey is used otherwise all the articles of cats would be under "H" which is not a good look. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:33, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

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Distance Units[edit]

Distance units in this article start with "nautical miles", then go to kilometers and miles (by which I assume is meant statute miles). These should be consistent within the article, and converted. I would gravitate towards kilometers with a conversion to statute miles (which can be done using templates), but thought I should post here before making any changes. I have been unable to find guidance in Wikipedia (which means only that I didn't find it, not that it doesn't exist), but is seems like nautical miles, which are based on distances AROUND the earth, don't necessarily make sense when referring to distances FROM earth. Don Lammers (talk) 21:27, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Hi Don,

I somewhat agree with you about the problem with inconsistency throughout the article, and yes we should aim to maintain consistent units. The standard measurement used mostly when discussing airspace/space seems to be Nautical Miles, even though most of the planet uses S.I. units (Kilometres etc.). Just bear-in-mind though With Wikipedia, you can decide what is the standard for this article. So go for it! --Read-write-services (talk) 22:12, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

 Done - All units are now in SI then US customary, using Template:Convert. While making the article consistent, I noticed other problems and tried to fix them as well. The section on MEO's was very repetitive, so I trimmed it down. I think it would help if someone double checked my work; I may have overlooked something.
Sparkgap (talk) 17:00, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I was going to do it, but being basically lazy am just as happy that someone else took it on. I spotted one conversion left that needed to be flipped, and did the honors. I skimmed the article to make sure nothing whacked me over the head and that my few previous edits about firsts were intact, but would hardly call that an edit pass. I'll see if I can take a closer look in the next couple of days. Don Lammers (talk) 19:39, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Incorrect Statement[edit]

"Wireless communication uses electromagnetic waves to carry signals. These waves require line-of-sight, and are thus obstructed by the curvature of the Earth."

Wireless communication, in general, does not require line-off-sight - although it helps. The statement above should be updated to be specific to satellite communication, although even then it is not always necessary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:02, 27 November 2015 (UTC)


An aerosat is an aeronautical satellite.[1] Flight first noted the term in 1968.[2] They are used for communications and are clearly notable. At present the page redirects here but there is no mention in this article. Can somebody add something about them? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:51, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

No mention at all of geosynchronous comsats by the USSR[edit]

There is no mention at all of geosynchronous comsats by the USSR/Russia. Believe me, there was a Soviet series, and all Soviet/Russian comsats have been the ones of the 12-hour, elliptically orbiting Molniya type. Unfortunately, I cannot put my finger in the name of their geosynchronous series of comsats.
Thus far, the three primary launchers of geosynchronous satellites have been the United States (NASA and the USAF), the USSR/Russia, and the European Space Agency, via its great launch site in French Guinea. Others that have occasionally achieved geosynchronous satellites include the PRC, Japan (using a version of the Delta II rocket made under license in Japan), India, and Brazil, with the possibilities of France, Israel, and South Korea. The United States has launched such communication satellites for a wide variety of paying customers, including Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, West Germany, INTELSAT, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, NATO, Panamsat, and the Arabsat organization. (talk) 07:47, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

External links modified (January 2018)[edit]

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Low Earth Orbit diagram in Blue instead of Cyan[edit]

I would like to propose replacing the diagram showing the location of Low Earth Orbit(LEO) in Cyan with one that shows LEO in blue because Blue is a more well-known colour. Muammar a tq (talk) 18:01, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Orbits beyond Geo for Communication Satellites[edit]

Hi there, should we add a section for other orbits where comm sats are now working and worked before? For example the [[Chang'e_4#Relay_satellite|Change'e 4] or even for other [[Mars] missions, where data is sent from rovers to the mars orbiter first and then relaed to Earth? Or even further ideas like old Apollo ideas for Earth-Moon-Libration points. I would help there of course, if we think it should be put here. Andreas -horn- Hornig (talk) 18:49, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Yes, they're pretty obscure and of little use for communication on Earth, but they're still within the topic remit of "comsat", so all the more reason to cover them. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:21, 17 September 2019 (UTC)