Satellite Technology and Rain (1 Viewer)

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nmoline

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 20, 2010
35
1
Indianapolis
Can someone with some expertise explain the following:

How does the Weather Channel Broadcast live video of Jim Cantore in the middle of a Hurricane using a satellite feed without interruption, yet when a rain storm is approaching my house in Indiana my Dish Satellite goes black with just a few Dark clouds approaching.

Most often the signal goes out directly before and after storms, seems to do better while it is actually raining.

Do TV networks have stronger Satellite Dishes?
 
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Tampa8

Supporting Founder - I'll stand up and say so
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 8, 2003
18,042
7,550
Tampa/Eastern Ct
They do at times lose the signal at the same point we might, have seen it many times with local tampa stations just before it rains hard. Your observation is correct, it's the storm head that may distrupt service much more than the actual rain.
It's possible the times you have watched the Weather Channel was not when the storm head passed. I don't know if their signal is less prone to have a loss when the storm head approaches.
 

bnaivar

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Dec 4, 2003
316
0
Atlanta, GA
KU-Band signals, which are used to broadcast from the satellite to your dish, have a wavelength that is physically the same size as an average raindrop. The more rain the signal has to go through the weaker the signal gets. The satellites get their broadcast power from solar cells, and broadcast at about 30 watts. Satellite trucks broadcast to the satellite on the KA-band at a much higher wattage. Different wavelength, more power.
 

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,350
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
Networks have many options First with New Orleans they probably have access to at least 1 "DISH FARM" these are permanent commercial locations with large dishes and as high a power transmitter as the FCC wtll allow. Also they probably transmit at "C" band frequencies which are more resistant to rain fade. These can be connected by hard wiring or microwave relays.
Second method is mobile trucks with generators telescoping dishes, basically mobile television studios. Most commonly seen in parking lots at Golf Matchs or important court trials. These again have bigger dishes than homeowners systems and Transmit to the satellites at frequencies reserved for uplinks.
Third way is using Fly aways. Basically suitcase sized packages containing dishes/transmitters & batteries for in field use such as at an Earthquake sight where communication needs to be established as rapidly as possible. These would be the least reliable in a hurricane but after the hurricane could be used for field reports of flooding etc.
Can someone with some expertise explain the following:

How does the Weather Channel Broadcast live video of Jim Cantore in the middle of a Hurricane using a satellite feed without interruption, yet when a rain storm is approaching my house in Indiana my Dish Satellite goes black with just a few Dark clouds approaching.

Most often the signal goes out directly before and after storms, seems to do better while it is actually raining.

Do TV networks have stronger Satellite Dishes?
 
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TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
803
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Once again I have to add that KU Band (What Dish and Direct use) don't really have "rain fade" issues. They have moisture fade issues. It is not the rain droplets that "block" the signal. It is water molecules that absorb the wavelength. This is why NASA uses Ku band data to detect water on distant planets and moons. So it can be raining like the dickens at your house, but if the signal is going through a relatively thin layer of clouds, you will not lose signal. If there is a gigantic thunderhead passing though the signal path you could be experiencing no rain and lose signal. I have even lost signal during heavy misting. There wasn't much rain and the clouds were thin, but the atmosphere was totally saturated with moisture to the point that your breath would cause precipitation (the vapor cloud fell tot he ground as a mist!) . That caused a brief outage.
 
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