UK Satellites will be Hit by Sun Outage from 4th October

By | 27/09/2014

Satellites serving the UK will soon be passing directly in front of the sun in the mornings, starting around the 4th October (9th October in Scandinavia)

For about ten days, signals from the UK beams of Astra 2E and 2F will be completely lost for up to 14 minutes during every morning just after 10.30 am CET (GMT+1) in Spain, Portugal, southern France, Eastern Germany, Austria, Italy and Scandinavia.

The explanation:
Sun outage is a twice-yearly event, and happens when the sun, satellite and earth are in a straight line during the spring and autumn equinoxes. A satellite dish always has to point to the satellite 24 hours a day, even if this means the dish is pointing straight at the sun. Random electrical noise from the sun overwhelms signal in weak areas.

Dramatically worse signal-to-noise ratio results in total loss of data. The British Isles are unaffected. Strong signals also weaken, but within normal margins.

At night, satellites pass through the umbra, or area of total eclipse, forcing operators to switch to built-in batteries, compensating for the absence of sunlight.

For some weeks either side of total eclipse, satellite reception in fringe areas is disrupted owing to the reduced amount of sun the satellite’s solar panels receive as they pass through the penumbra, or outer shadow.
Sun outage. This happens twice a year at the equinoxes when the earth, sun and satellite are in a straight line. Check your dish for obstructions if it sunny- they will cast a shadow on the dish. Anywhere in full sun at this time is a good site for a new dish. There is one compensation for the loss of signals. It’s the perfect time to check whether there is anything shading your dish, such as trees or foliage. Any obstruction will cast a shadow on your dish at sun outage, revealing that signals will be reduced all year round. Green leaves are as effective as lead in blocking satellite signals.

Any site with full sun at this time is a good site for a new dish installation.

Of course, this only works if the sun is shining…

Courtesy of

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