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A satellite that passes over or near the earth’s poles, i.e., a satellite whose orbital plane has an inclination of about 90° to the plane of the earth’s equator.

Related Terms

MISSILE ATTITUDE

The position of a missile as determined by the inclination of its axes (roll, pitch, and yaw) in relation to another object, as to the earth.

INCLINATION

1. The angle which a line or surface makes with the verti- cal, horizontal, or with another line or surface. 2. One of the orbital elements (parameters) that specifies the orientation of an orbit. It is the angle between the orbital plane and a reference plane, the plane of the celestial equator for geocentric orbits and the ecliptic for heliocentric orbits.

ANGLE

The inclination to each other of two intersecting lines, measured by the arc of a circle intercepted between the two lines forming the angle, the center of the circle being the point of intersection. An acute angle i

ATTITUDE

The position of a body as determined by the inclination of the axes to some other frame of reference. If not otherwise specified, this frame of reference is fixed to the earth.

NODE CYCLE

The period of approximately 18.61 Julian years required for the regression of the moon’s nodes to complete a circuit of 360° of longitude. It is accompanied by a corresponding cycle of changing inclination of the moon’s orbit relative to the plane of the earth’s equator, with resulting inequalities in the rise and fall of the tide and speed of the tidal current.

HEEL

The inclination of a ship to one side (See list)

RAKE

Fore-and-aft inclination from the vertical

LIST

Inclination of the vessel to port side or starboard side

OBLIQUITY FACTOR

A factor in an expression for a constituent tide or tidal current involving the angle of the inclination of the moon’s orbit to the plane of the earth’s equator.

ORBITAL ELEMENTS

Parameters that specify the position and motion of a body in orbit. The elliptical orbit of a satellite attracted by an exactly central gravitational force is specified by a set of six parameters as follows: Two parameters, the semimajor axis and eccentricity of the ellipse, establish the size and shape of the elliptical orbit. A third parameter, time of perifocal passage, enables determination of the location of the satellite in its orbit at any instant. The three remaining parameters establish the orientation of the orbit in space. These are the inclination of the orbital plane to a reference plane, the right ascension of the ascending node of the satellite, and the argument of pericenter.

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