March 3 – March 12
It is that time again! Time to deal with the sun interfering with our TV. Sun outage, Sun transit, or Sun fade is an interruption in or distortion of satellite signals caused by interference (background noise) of the sun when it falls directly behind a satellite which a station is trying to receive data or transmit data to. It usually occurs briefly to such satellites twice per year and such stations install temporary or permanent guards to their receiving systems.
Sun outages occur before the March Equinox (in February and March) and after the September Equinox (in September and October) for the Northern Hemisphere. At these times, the apparent path of the Sun across the sky takes it directly behind the line of sight between an station and a satellite. The Sun radiates strongly across the entire spectrum, including the microwave frequencies used to communicate with satellites (C band, Ku band, and Ka band), so the Sun swamps the signal from the satellite. The effects of a Sun outage range from partial degradation (increase in the error rate) to total destruction of the signal, affecting any specific location for less than 10 – 19 mins to prevent equipment damage.