Satellites have become a well-established contributor to modern electronic communications. RAF officer and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke is often credited (in 1945) with the concept of communications by means of relaying signals back and forth between the earth and orbiting artificial satellites. Satellite communications (satcom) systems have evolved a great deal from that early idea, growing into the many different satellite constellations at different orbiting altitudes that are currently serving many different markets and applications.
Today’s satellites are commonly categorized as the earliest geosynchronous earth orbit satellites (GEOS), medium earth orbit satellites (MEOS), and the latest, low earth orbit satellites (LEOS). The latter are soon to become key parts of the emerging 5G wireless communications network, which will promise delivery of high-speed, wideband data anywhere and anytime, and those satellites will help make it anywhere. Satellite is the only electronic communications technology that can reach 100% of the earth’s population.