Semi-Annual Sun Outages May Affect AFN Signals

AFN customers may experience brief programming interruptions February 28th through March 13, 2002, as the spring "sun outage" period occurs. These seasonal outages, which take place each spring and fall, affect all satellite communications, including the AFN radio and television services distributed by the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS).

These programming interruptions are characterized by a complete loss of signal for several seconds to even 10 or 20 minutes. They occur when the sun's position aligns with broadcast satellites and Earth station receivers. The sun's radiation overpowers the broadcast signal causing this disruption of service.

The effect of sun outages on satellite programming received at the AFRTS Broadcast Center at March ARB, California, will be minimal because alternate satellite feeds can be used in the event of a sun outage. However, the AFRTS satellite signals distributed to regional and local AFN affiliates may experience more significant outages due to their reliance on the single AFRTS satellite feed.

This year's spring sun outages will be most severe on or around March 6th.

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