In the two previous chapters, i.e. Chapters 2 and 3, the fundamental issues relating to the operational principle of satellites, the dynamics of the satellite orbits, the launch procedures and various in-orbit operations have been addressed. Having studied at length how a satellite functions and before getting on to application-related aspects of it, in the present chapter a closer look will be taken at what a typical satellite comprises, irrespective of its intended application. Different subsystems making up a typical satellite will be briefly discussed and issues like the major function performed by each one of these subsystems along with a brief consideration of their operational aspects, will be addressed.
Irrespective of the intended application, be it a communications satellite or a weather forecasting satellite or even a remote sensing satellite, different subsystems comprising a typical satellite include the following: