Today we inexplicably started getting complaints of slow down across our entire network. I could not for the life of me pin down the cause, so on a hunch I looked up the solar forecast and low and behold, there was a recent Coronal Mass Ejection a couple of days ago with interference forecasted for the next 3 days. I'm fairly new to WISPs and was wondering if this could actually be the cause for some of our slow down or if I'm grasping at straws. If some of you more seasoned vets could chime in on how much this actually effects wisps and how often it occurs, it would help me a lot.
I had intended to comment more, but my browser froze. Anyhow, it is possible that without GPS your APs were self interfering, and that could lead to a degradation in performance. It would be interesting to see if there is anything in the event log to correlate that.
What is your lattitude? Solar flares are clouds of highly energetic plasma particles ejected by the sun.
they tend to be deflected by earth's magnetic field, but the closer to the poles you are, the lesss shielding you're getting from erath's magnetic "shield". (and some of the particles headed for the equator will be only partially deflected and will end up hitting the higher lattitudes. especially valid for higher energy particles.)
When those particles hit earth's high athmosphere, they both ionize(themselves and other particles) and induce currents, causing auroras and etc. those are only a problem if you're in alaska, siberia, norway... because you (and your comms equipment) may be subject to sun-produced X-rays(deflected by our mag-field) and secondary emission from those ionized particles in our outer atmosphere.
In the rest of the world, for most flares you won't have problems unless your antennas are pointing upwards(like DirecTV dishes, satellite up/downlinks, etc.)
We're at Lat 44 degrees North. Not as far north as Alaska, but more northern than most. The area of effect for the flare I saw was mostly southern Atlantic Ocean with us on the very outer area. That's why I was really questioning my conclusion.
Yes, absolutely. We see weird issues from time-to-time that we can't pinpoint, often they will line up with interesting solar events. We are at roughly 44.68 degrees North. As a TV provider, too, there's a "fantastic" thing called sun transit, where satellites pass between the Earth and the Sun. No special CMEs required - just a normal part of the orbits lining up. We lose a few satellites for the duration due to interference.
As APD mentioned, interference with GPS signals is indeed possible, causing timing to take a dump across the network.