GPS Satellites

How high up are those GPS satellites? In this activity, you'll answer that question and then check your answer by running an orbit simulation.

You probably recall that the GPS satellites have a period of 12 hours, or half a day. Given this information, determine the orbit radius r and orbit altitude h for a GPS satellite.

#1 Record your values for r and h for a GPS satellite.

r = km
h = km

When you are ready, use your answer in the orbit simulation and see if your GPS satellite period comes out correctly.

Click here to return to the Lesson Map