Weather takes its toll on AFN signal in Europe, Middle East
Inclement weather over the East Coast of the United States has wreaked havoc for American Forces Network viewers in Europe and the Middle East, network officials said Thursday.
In recent days, television viewers have received distorted images, something officials attribute to Mother Nature. Bad weather can weaken the reception, especially given that signals reaching Europe rely on multiple satellite paths, Jose Toledo, AFN’s chief engineer, said in a news release.
AFN programming originates from California, where the signal is sent to a satellite over the United States and then downlinked to New Jersey, he said.
That same signal is then sent to a satellite positioned over the Atlantic Ocean and received at the AFN downlink facility located in Usingen, Germany. From there, the program signal is delivered to AFN Headquarters in Frankfurt.
Network technicians informed their counterparts in New Jersey of the problem, but were told it was due to bad weather, officials said.
Technicians have increased the signal output to boost the quality of the images, but due to a high barometric pressure, there has been no noticeable improvement, Toledo said.
In addition, there have been problems with AFN radio broadcasts.
Air Force 2nd Lt. Nicole M. Dubnicay, an AFN-Europe spokeswoman, said attempts are being made to fix the problems.