A polar orbit has an inclination of 90 degrees to the equator. NOAA newest geostationary weather satellites, GOES-16 was successfully launched on November 19, 2016. Another disadvantage specific to geostationary satellites is that they can’t cover polar regions. A satellite in a polar orbit will pass over the equator at a different longitude on each of its orbits.

It therefore has an inclination of 90 degrees to the equator. A polar satellite follows a polar orbit, that is an orbit passing above both Earth poles on each revolution.

The satellite appears lower in the sky. Most common geostationary satellites are either weather satellites, communication satellites relaying signals between two or more ground stations and satellites that broadcast signals to a large area on the planet.

A polar orbit is one in which a satellite passes above or nearly above both poles of the body being orbited (usually a planet such as the Earth) on each revolution. Two types make up NOAA's system of satellites: polar-orbiting environmental satellites and geostationary environmental satellites. So for standard visible and Infrared, the Geostationary images are used for sectors. This one special quality makes it unique from geosynchronous orbits. The best example of the latter is satellite TV. Polar imagery over a given area is much less frequent than Geostationary imagery. As we move away from the limit of a geostationary satellite’s coverage, the look-angles start decreasing. Geostationary orbits fall in the same category as geosynchronous orbits, but it’s parked over the equator. Polar-orbiting satellites enable long-term monitoring of the entire Earth, tracking atmospheric variables such as temperature and providing atmospheric data and cloud images. This one special quality makes it unique from geosynchronous orbits. Geostationary satellites can also take atmospheric profiles of temperature and moisture, but at a reduced resolution compared to polar satellites and radiosonde soundings. NOAA's Geostationary and Polar-Orbiting Weather Satellites [This page was prepared by NOAA's Satellite Operations Team] Operating the country's system of environmental ( weather ) satellites is one of the major responsibilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).

Since they are situated at the equator, these satellites can’t cover regions upwards of 77 degrees latitude in either hemisphere. Polar Mapped Mosaic Satellite Composite Images are used for daily snapshots of the entire Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, or a mercator projection view of the Tropics.

geostationary and polar satellite