solar fade(n.) Also referred to as sun fade, sun outage or solar outage, a signal degradation phenomenon that affects the transmission of radio signals in satellite communications.
GEO satellites orbit the earth above the equator and rely on microwave signals in the radio frequency spectrum for communications with an earth-bound antenna. The sun also emits large amounts of electromagnetic energy in the microwave portion of the spectrum. Through the majority of the year, the radio frequency energy from the sun does not affect satellite communications. However, during the spring and fall equinoxes the sun is positioned above the earth's equator (in the equatorial plane) and therefore will align itself behind the GEO satellites as they move with the earth's rotation. When the sun is directly behind a satellite the radio signals of the satellite communications are overpowered by the sun's radio frequency energy, creating noise, and the communications are therefore disrupted.
Signal interference only occurs once a day for any satellite and usually lasts less than eight minutes, though many factors, including antenna size and downlink frequency, effect the duration and intensity of the solar fade. The exact date and time of solar fade is different for each satellite. Many satellite operators have solar fade calculators accessible on the Internet.
The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »Taking Ownership through Digital Governance
Taking ownership of our own misjudgments or simple forgetfulness takes a healthy amount of humility and some honest self-assessment. Yet sometimes... Read More »Have We Become a World of Addicts?
It's hard to imagine our lives without smartphones. But people who suffer separation anxiety when they don't have their phones nearby may be in... Read More »
With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC
Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »