Sun Outages - Autumn 2023

3 min. read

The autumn sun outage season starts in September

This month, we are entering the sun outage season, which will continue into October. 

During this period, depending on geographical location, service on satellite downlinks may experience a brief disturbance due to interference from the sun when it falls directly behind a satellite. Whilst Eurovision Services has secured its teleports for this period in order to guarantee uninterrupted services, we cannot monitor sun outages for all reception points.

We therefore invite you to check when sun outages will occur for your reception sites and take the necessary steps if they are likely to affect any of your transmissions. You can find numerous free-of-charge tools on the internet that allow you to calculate times for your location.

What are sun outages?

A sun outage (also known as sun interference or sun fade) is interference caused by the sun; it occurs when the receiving earth station, the satellite and the sun are aligned. This situation is called conjunction of the sun and the satellite.  During conjunction, since the sun is a giant source of radiation, the antenna noise temperature increases, decreasing the link performance. Depending on the receive antenna size, its efficiency and the frequency band used, this interference can cause degradation of the satellite signal and a service outage.  Sun interference occurs for several minutes. The actual timing, the duration of the interference, and the level of service degradation vary depending on the location of the receiving earth station, the size of the antenna, the received frequency and the link margin.