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Satellite Communications/Field of Regard and Field of View


Adolfo Garcia Marin wrote at 2006-07-25 18:37:28
For an imaging forming optical system we define:

- Field of view: the area covered for the detector of the system when pointing to one position.

- Field of regard: the area covered for the detector of the system when pointing to all mechanically posible positions.

Example: a telescope has a field of view of less than a square degree BUT a field of regard of several degrees (depending of the mechanical mount)

Tim wrote at 2008-07-18 18:41:56
The field of regard (FOR) is very different than Field of View (FOV). The FOR is the target area that a sensor (or satellite) could see or detect based on its position.  The FOV is the area that the sensor's payload actually can see at one time.

For example, a geostationary satellite has a field of regard that is most of the Earth's disk, however, it's field of view depends on what kind of payload is being used.  If the payload has a narrow FOV, it will not see it's entire FOR at once.  A wide angle payload on the same satellite, however, could potentially see the entire FOR within it's FOV.

To sum up, FOR collectable area based on the position of the payload, FOV is based on the actual design of the payload at a specific position.

I've worked multiple DoD satellite programs utilizing different portions of the spectrum, and this definition is widely accepted.

jdwroth wrote at 2015-02-10 22:21:18
I'm about 10 years late for your answer, but here it goes.  Field of View is what a static receiver/antenna can receive.  When you gimbal an antenna (allow it to rotate or scan), you then add in the additional degrees to provide you with a Field of Regard.  If you have a 180 degree FOV and you can gimbal the antenna +/- 10 degrees you FOR increases to 200 degrees.  

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Brian Mcintosh


I have extensive real world experience in satellite manufacturing and satellite ground segment design. I could answer pretty much any question about ground based systems, and I could answer a lot of questions about satellites themselves.


Employment history: SED Systems Inc. (Satellite Test System Engineer) Hughes Space and Communications (Satellite Test Engineer) New Skies Satellites (Capacity Management Engineer) Gord Campbell and Associates (Ground Segment Design Engineer) McIntosh Technical Services (technical documents, web design, etc.)

Organizations: Association of Preofessional Engineers and Geologists of British Columbia (Canada)

Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

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