Earth has developed advanced technology over time, and of course, this is to facilitate human survival. In the vast Milky Way galaxy, it feels like only Earth has the life and intelligence of its creatures, so it creates many previously impossible technologies. One is satellite technology, developed by humans and orbiting in space to support several other technologies on Earth.
The development of this technology is extraordinary; of course, it also contributes to human convenience. But many ordinary people still seem to be behind this and must fully understand satellites and their functions. Therefore, the following is a detailed overview of satellite technology.
Understanding Satellite: What is Satellite?
Long-distance communications and data transmission were based on satellites before the internet age. On July 9, 1976, NASA launched the Indonesian satellite Palapa 1 for the first time from Florida, USA. The number of telecommunications satellites orbiting space continues to grow with the increasing need for data transmission, banking, Internet, and television broadcasting.
Satellite comes from the Latin word satellites, defined as a servant who obeys or serves other parties. While the definition is scientific, a satellite is an object that moves around another thing in a path called an orbit. And there are two types of satellites;
- Natural satellite is a satellite that comes from nature, for example, the moon, a natural satellite for the Earth.
- Artificial satellite is a satellite made by humans and then put into orbit with a launch vehicle or a vehicle for specific purposes such as communication, mapping, weather monitoring, etc. There are several examples of artificial satellites, for instance, Palapa, Telekom, and Garuda.
Artificial satellite functions
There are not just a few artificial satellites, but thousands of them in different shapes, and each has its uses. All these artificial satellites orbit freely in space. And there are different types of artificial satellites and their uses.
Remote sensing satellite
This satellite is specially designed to observe the Earth and is usually intended for non-military purposes such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, maps, etc. So that researchers and observers can quickly see parts of the Earth or the whole, it should make it easier and more efficient for research purposes, for example, because observing the planet’s entire surface is challenging, not even with land vehicles. Therefore, this remote sensing satellite technology is used to provide information and observations in a short time.
While the task of this satellite is to monitor and know the Earth’s weather and climate conditions in a short time as research material or information, this satellite is also used for forecasting the weather and various natural disasters.
Communications satellites play an essential role in facilitating long-distance communications, whether through telephone services or even the Internet and so on. Essentially, this satellite is used to exchange information.
A navigation satellite is a satellite system that provides spatial positioning independently with global or worldwide coverage. This satellite is also commonly referred to as a GPS satellite, as its function is for land, sea, and air navigation.
This satellite is used for military purposes such as intelligence gathering or satellite news observation, navigation, and military communications. You cannot use this satellite in general, but specifically for military information exchange.
Scientific satellite (scientific research satellite)
The satellite provides complete information on meteorological information, land survey data, amateur radio, and various other scientific research applications.
Why is satellite important?
Although there are still terrestrial telecommunications technologies such as fiber optics, BTS, radio waves, and others, however, the role of satellite telecommunications technology is more efficient as it has a larger coverage area than terrestrial and can be deployed anywhere, even in remote areas far away from terrestrial telecommunications technology.
That said, satellites are certainly quicker to deploy for research, observation, and location mapping than land vehicles. Using land vehicles is inconvenient and takes a lot of time, so it is considered inefficient to meet these needs. At the same time, this satellite helps obtain faster and more accurate information about the Earth’s surface climate, up to and including the weather.
In essence, the satellite is a precisely created and valuable technology for human survival. One of the positive effects is the telecommunications system, which makes it easier to connect despite being spread over thousands of kilometers. In the fields of observation, navigation, military, etc., this satellite’s role is inseparable from this aspect.
Speed and efficiency are also inseparable from this satellite’s role, so many parties choose to use satellite technology instead of manual technology. For example, for earth observation only, some parties prefer to use satellites instead of land vehicles, which are considered impractical and efficient for obtaining information quickly. In essence, satellites play many roles in human life without ever realizing it.