In Chapters 2 and 4 of this newsletter ("The Battlefield Environment" and "Communications"), the term ``satellite footprint'' was used. A satellite's footprint refers to the area over which the satellite operates - the intersection of an antenna or sensor's pattern and the surface of the earth. For a communications satellite, the footprint is the area on the earth where transmissions can be sent to or received from the satellite. For an imaging satellite, such as the European METEOSAT weather satellite used during DESERT STORM, the footprint also describes the area of the earth that is imaged by the satellite in addition to its communication footprint. A depiction of the METEOSAT image footprint is provided below.
on the fringe of this footprint means being on the edge where the curvature
of the earth causes distortion in the imagery. Being on the fringe of a communications
satellite footprint means being further away from the satellite and having
to transmit through more of the atmosphere than would be required if transmitting
to the center of the footprint.
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