2014 Spring Sun Interference

Akron, OH – February 26, 2014

Twice a year, Skycasters likes to take a little time to post on our blog and news section about sun fade, a condition which affects all satellite communications. In late winter and again in mid-fall, the sun lines up with the Earth and interrupts transmissions to communications satellites.

Our parent star outputs a tremendous amount of noise in the radio frequency end of the spectrum, the same signals used for satellite communications. Since the solar energy is many times stronger than our ground-based signals, all communication with orbiting satellites is briefly interrupted. This translates to a very temporary, but planned, outage.

It might not be immediately obvious, but there will be several outages for every customer. Any time the sun lines up directly with your satellite dish and the transmitting spacecraft or our teleport and the satellite, there will be an outage, typically less than seven minutes on the strongest day of solar interference. The amount of time the sun fade affects our networks will gradually increase in the few days prior to the longest outage and will slowly decrease for several days after.

Since Skycasters’ headquarters and teleport is in Akron, Ohio, we can predict to the minute when outages will occur and roughly how long they will last for each satellite. Brief service outages will also occur for each individual customer and will vary depending on latitude. Each satellite operator provides a map with latitudes, longitudes, and times so that you can come up with an estimate of when you can expect to see an outage.

Below, you’ll see a table detailing the dates and times we expect to see sun fade here in Akron and how long we expect the outage to last. Further down, you can find links to see when you can expect sun fade to affect the internet connection where you’re doing business.

SATELLITE CITY DIAMETER DATE TIME (GMT) DURATION
AMC-1 AKRON, OH 2.4 m 2014-03-02 19:12 5 min
AMC-1 AKRON, OH 2.4 m 2014-03-03 19:11 7 min
AMC-1 AKRON, OH 2.4 m 2014-03-04 19:11 7 min
AMC-1 AKRON, OH 2.4 m 2014-03-05 19:11 6 min
AMC-1 AKRON, OH 2.4 m 2014-03-06 19:13 1 min
G-28 AKRON, OH 6.3 m 2014-03-03 18:10 3 min
G-28 AKRON, OH 6.3 m 2014-03-04 18:10 2 min
T-11 AKRON, OH 6.3 m 2014-03-04 14:20 3 min
T-11 AKRON, OH 6.3 m 2014-03-05 18:10 3 min

Use the following links to determine when you can expect sun fade for your satellite in your area:

AMC-1 Sun Fade Information

T-11 Sun Transit Calculator (Be sure to select T-11 and a custom latitude/longitude for the most precise prediction)

(Galaxy) G-28 Sun Interference Calculator

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