Elliptical Orbit

A satellite in elliptical orbit follows an oval-shaped path. One part of the orbit is closest to the center of Earth (perigee) and the other part is farthest away (apogee). A satellite in this orbit takes about 12 hours to circle the planet. Like polar orbits, elliptical orbits move in a north-south direction.



Polar Coverage

While most communications satellites are in Geosynchronous orbit, the footprints of GEO satellites do not cover the polar regions of Earth. So communications satellites in elliptical orbits cover the areas in the high northern and southern hemispheres that are not covered by GEO satellites.