There are a lot of things that make communications up here an extra little bit challenging: the three time zones we work in and the very slow internet – which is even slower in the communities are just the beginning of it. This week, ‘sun transits’ just added to the challenge.
HelpDesk (our technical support people) sent out this message to all users last week:
ATTENTION: All Users
Re: Sun Transit Reminder
This is courtesy reminder that sun transits are upon us again and will affect satellite communications for a short period each day over the next two weeks. Beginning with a few seconds each afternoon but increasing to as much as fifteen minutes each day, television and cell phone service will lose their connections temporarily. This should only last through to approximately March 4th.
Being new to Nunavut, and a very dedicated user of Google, I decided to see what I could learn about sun transits (thank you, www.telesat.com).
During sun transits, the sun is directly lined up behind the satellite meaning that the signal gets overwhelmed by the ‘thermally generated radio frequency noise’ that comes from the sun. It meant that my Olympic coverage was interrupted briefly on Sunday afternoon (before the game, not during, thankfully) and that telephone calls were dropped even more than usual.
Just another joy of living in the Arctic…