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Deutsch: Höhe / Español: Altitud / Português: Altitude / Français: Altitude / Italiano: Altitudine /

Altitude refers to the height of an object above a reference point, such as the surface of the Earth. Altitude is typically measured in units of distance, such as meters or feet, and can be either above or below sea level.

Altitude is an important consideration in the aerospace industry, as it can have significant impacts on the performance and operation of aircraft and other aerospace vehicles. For example, the altitude at which an aircraft is flying can affect the amount of lift it generates, the air density and temperature it encounters, and the amount of fuel it consumes.

There are several different ways to measure altitude in the aerospace context, depending on the specific application. Some common methods include:

  • Above sea level (ASL): Altitude measured relative to sea level, which is typically used for aircraft and other vehicles that operate near the Earth's surface.

  • Above ground level (AGL): Altitude measured relative to the ground, which is often used for aircraft and other vehicles that operate at lower altitudes, where the terrain may vary significantly.

  • Geopotential altitude: Altitude measured relative to the geoid, which is an imaginary surface that represents the Earth's gravitational field. This type of altitude is often used for spacecraft and other vehicles that operate in space, where the Earth's surface is not a meaningful reference point.

Altitude can also be classified into different ranges or "zones," depending on the altitude range and the specific characteristics of the atmosphere at that altitude. For example, the Earth's atmosphere is typically divided into the troposphere, stratosphere, and other layers, each of which has its own unique properties.

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