KU Band Tropo(was Re: pictures)
- (possible duplicate)The Prospect Hill KU dish(below) was used for KU tropo tests to Mt Tug NH:
--- In email@example.com, "David I. Emery" <die@...> wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 01:19:18PM -0800, Jason Bourne wrote:
> > If I'm not mistaken, there was also a Nike-Hercules radar system in
> > the vicinity of Waltham as part of the regional air defense system for
> > MA during the cold war.
> As someone who is currently sitting in my living room in the
> next town west of Waltham (Weston) as I type this... and who grew up in
> the area...
> Waltham itself did not have any Nike stuff that I remember...
> there was a Nike battery directly to the west of Waltham in Lincoln Mass
> and the adjacent town Wayland Mass with the radars for it on a hill in
> Lincoln that is now a well known nature preserve called Drumlin Farm.
> In later years of the system the Wayland launcher site did apparently
> have nuclear warheads at one point I believe.
> A major search radar site for the system and further battery
> control radar was located to the south of Lincoln/Wayland/Weston on a
> hill in Needham Mass, along with additional launchers nearby. Other
> hills around Boston had other associated radars serving additional
> launchers near them as well.
> I remember tours of the Nike sites were given to scouts and
> school kids... and the weed encrusted remains of the Wayland launcher
> site existed into the post millennium era - the hilltop radar sites
> having long since been removed - though I believe some of the buildings
> at the Needham radar site have been used as a residence/school for
> disabled children and were not entirely torn down.
> At one point in the late 60s or early 70s a major hill
> (Prospect Hill) in Waltham grew a quite large precision Ku band dish
> (probably 40-60 feet or more) that was prominently visible from the
> famous Route 128 (now I95). This was used by AFCRL in early
> feasibility studies of use of Ku and higher frequencies in satcom... and
> during this era there were a number of small unmanned weather stations
> along the path of the beam from the dish toward the test satellite to
> measure local weather conditions (such as rainfall and fog) and how they
> impacted propagation. This dish was torn down around 2000 or so and the
> mount and associated building has been reused since as an antenna
> platform for various two way radio system antennas including some local
> ham repeaters.
> Another hill in Waltham (Bear Hill) on the other side of I95/128
> had one of the very first TD-2 telephone microwave relay sites on it, on
> the path between Boston and NY that was the first test of a practical
> telco microwave radio system. The Waltham site was the first hop out of
> Boston toward NY... and used square delay lens antennas on a 3 story
> concrete building rooftop rather than Hogg horns on the later tall 300
> foot traditional AT&T microwave towers. A few years after that route
> was established in the late 1940s a non AT&T standard much thinner tower
> was put up next to the TD-2 building for a link north to Portland Maine
> feed by round dish antennas rather than horns. That tower was torn
> down at the time most microwave was shut down in the very late 80s...
> and eventually replaced in the very early 90s by a distinctive tall oil
> derrick tower - unlike most other AT&T towers - that was apparently used
> in some kind of experimental 6 GHz cellular system propagation studies
> in the very early 90s and has mostly been used since as a cell site
> tower with a smattering of other radio systems on it.
> The same hill, Bear Hill, also grew towers for a MCI microwave
> path out of Boston and various other microwave system and still has
> multiple towers and quite a few active antennas and links on it -
> including some used for SNG trucks in the west of Boston area for links
> back to their studios and of course the paging transmitters for the
> area... the top of the hill has a good view overlooking Boston to the
> east so it is a natural radio site.
> Nearby Wayland also had, for many years, a large Raytheon lab
> that developed radar for the Navy, and there were many experimental and
> test radars on the roof and grounds of the facility over the years. As
> a kid growing up in Wayland I was aware (probably more than most other
> folks) of the RF from the radar testing... it was sufficient from time
> to time to light up fluorescent tubes in the middle school building I
> attended classes in on the side of the building facing the radars across
> the Sudbury river marshes and to cause all kinds of RFI with A/V
> equipment in school classrooms. That Raytheon facility has long since
> closed and is in the process of being torn down in the next year or so.
> Dave Emery N1PRE/AE, die@... DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass 02493
> "An empty zombie mind with a forlorn barely readable weatherbeaten
> 'For Rent' sign still vainly flapping outside on the weed encrusted pole - in
> celebration of what could have been, but wasn't and is not to be now either."