Death, Taxes … and, oh, by the way, Sun Fade

I wish Arthur C. Clarke could have met Benjamin Franklin. I think they would have enjoyed each other immensely.

Back in the day, when Ol’ Ben was describing the permanency of the United States Constitution, he allowed that while the Constitution should stand forever, the only absolutes were end of life, and taxation.

Welcome to the new age. You throw a few satellites up into the Clarke Belt, and all of a sudden you get a new definition of permanence. Sure, these satellites only last ten to twenty years each, but you’ve got an effect that more or less will always happen so long as we rely on satellites to enhance our communications.

In both the Spring and the Fall, every satellite gets overpowered by the sun. Several times.

It’s an eclipse of the satellite. An alignment in the heavens. Just like a lunar or a solar eclipse.

Northern Hemisphere sun fades start when the sun passes the Equator on September 22nd. But Skycasters’ footprint is first affected around September 25th, with sun interference starting in the continental US about October 3rd.

And it’s a double whammy – though only 2 to 10 minutes each time. You get faded one set of times when the Skycasters NOC experiences it, and another set of times at your satellite dish location.

The best way to deal with sun fade is to plan for it. Fit the NOC sun fades into your schedule using the chart below, and then visit the Telesat and Intelsat sites with the links below to calculate the times your site(s) will experience sun fade. If you’re not sure which satellite you’re using, please call us at 800-268-8502, or 330-785-2101.

Satellite Date Start GMT Duration
T11N OCT. 6 13:55:48 5.2
OCT. 7 13:54:07 8
OCT. 8 13:53:14 9.2
OCT. 9 13:52:58 9.2
OCT. 10 13:53:30 7.6
OCT. 11 13:54:50 4.4
T14 OCT. 6 15:50:02 2
OCT. 7 15:47:09 7.2
OCT. 8 15:46:04 8.8
OCT. 9 15:45:36 9.2
OCT. 10 15:45:44 8.4
OCT. 11 15:46:28 6.4
G28 OCT. 7 17:45 3
OCT. 8 17:44 6
OCT. 9 17:43 6
OCT. 10 17:44 4

Sun Fade Calculator for T11N or T14 (⇐Click)

Sun Fade Calculator for G28


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