What is a “Satellite Footprint”?
The footprint of a communications satellite is the ground area that its transmitter/receiver offers coverage, and determines the satellite dish diameter required to receive each transmitter/receiver’s, or transponder, signal. There is usually a different map for each transponder (or group of transponders) as each may be aimed to cover different areas of the ground. Footprint maps usually show either the estimated minimal satellite dish diameter required or the signal strength in each area measured in decibel Watts, or dBW. (Wikipedia)
What is the easy answer? Satellite Signal Coverage Area, or where the signal “touches down”. Here are some sample maps of satellite coverage areas, or FOOTPRINTS, from Intelsat and iDirect.
Horizons-1 @ 127.0 Degrees East
IS-25 @ 328.5 Degrees East