The polar regions won't be missed as they will pass under the sun-synchronous orbit twice a year. – SF. Nov 19 '15 at 9:56
@SF. - Your comment is incorrect. Sun synchronous satellites never pass directly over the poles. The A-train satellites, for example, have an orbital inclination of 98.2 degrees, and hence never go north of 81.8 degrees north latitude. The poles are in view from the northernmost point of the orbit, but are never directly below. – David Hammen 4 hours ago
Could someone explain it like I was 5?
Earth axial tilt of 23.4° sends the poles 23.4° away from the terminator, into the night side, or the day side, at solstices. So, at summer solstice, the north pole is 23.4 degrees away from the terminator.
The "terminator-riding" satellites move at 80 to 82 degrees inclination, that means at the time of equinox, they are 10 to 12 degrees from the pole, which is exactly at the terminator line. At summer solstice, if the satellite is to pass over the terminator line over the equator, if it retains the 80 degrees inclination (relative to Earth equator), that would mean it's 20 degrees from the pole + 23.4 degrees between the pole and the terminator = 43 degrees away from the terminator... that's hardly "riding the terminator", almost halfway to perpendicular to it... (and near winter solstice, they actually ride exactly over the terminator line).
or am I missing something? Could someone, say, show a picture of such a satellite's orbit at summer solstice, in relation to north pole and the terminator line? Something like this but for summer solstice date?