Spring 2010 Sun Fades

Ah, Spring.

Well, almost. The Winter sun fade means Spring ain’t far behind.

Twice a year, as the Earth’s position in its orbit brings geostationary satellites exactly between the sun and your (and our) satellite dish, the sun overpowers the satellite for several minutes.

The great equalizer. Sun fade affects all industries that use geostationary satellites: radio stations, broadcast and cable TV, military, aid agencies, and broadband satellite Internet , like your business.

The outages that concern you are that of Skycasters’ teleport (when we fade, you fade), and your own. Skycasters’ G28 customers (your dish points to 89 degrees west longitude) will see fade at these times:

Date

Time (EST)

Duration

March 3, 2010

1:10 pm

3 minutes

March 4, 2010

1:10 pm

3 minutes

Our T14 customers (your dish points to 63 degrees west longitude) will see fades at these times:

Date

Time (EST)

Duration

March 2, 2010

11:12 AM

5 minutes

March 3, 2010

11:11 AM

7 minutes

March 4, 2010

11:10 AM

8 minutes

March 5, 2010

11:10 AM

7 minutes

March 6, 2010

11:12 AM

4 minutes

Your Internet connection will fade during these times. But your own dish will also be affected at different times – when the sun aligns with the satellite and your dish.

Depending on your latitude and longitude. To determine the additional times you may be affected by sun fade, the illustration below shows the dates various latitudes and longitudes customers on Intelsat’s G28 will be affected (click on the illustration to get a bigger map).

G28 Spring Sun Fade Map
To calculate your location’s exact sun interference dates for Telesat’s T14, use Telesat’s calculator here and click on the link near the top of the page, “For sun transit calculator click here.”

When the calculator comes up (it’s a pop up window), select the satellite T14 from the drop down menu, put in your site’s latitude and longitude, select this year, select Spring, select Ku for the “frequency band,” and “1” for the size of the dish (if your dish is the 1.2 meter dish – if you have a 1.8 or 2.4 meter dish, select those). The temperature will default to 135 Kelvin. Click Calculate.

The Telesat calculator uses GMT (which is same as UTC). In normal time, that’s 5 hours before Eastern Standard Time, 6 hours before Central Standard Time, 7 hours before MST, and 8 hours before PST. Therefore, a sun fade at 18 hours GMT will be at 1 pm for the eastern US, 12 noon in Chicago, 11 am in Denver, and 10 am in Los Angeles.

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