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Elliptical orbit satellite, system, and deployment with controllable coverage characteristics

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #5669585.

A special set of elliptical satellite orbits are described which allow preferential coverage of one parameter over another. According to a first modification, the orbits are retrograde, and preferentially cover one geographical location or time of day as compared with another. A second modification uses prograde orbits and allows the apogee of the orbit to be offset a constant amount with respect to the sun, to thereby cover a different time of day relative to the others. According to a special preferred mode of the invention, the apogee is always pointing towards the sun.

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