Message posted by loopbacktest4echo on June 15, 2009 at 8:09:47 PST:
I was talking with a person recently who is a retired physicist who worked for the government and took many trips to the desert. We were talking about antenna's and I decided to ask if he knew anything about the unusual antenna in the DLR picture. I drew the antenna on paper as I wasn't sure that showing him the picture wouldn't end the conversation. Also I only said it was at an Air Force installation but not where. He said "oh yeah, that looks like an antenna I designed". He asked how close it was to the runway. He then told me that each little ball object was a covered microwave dish and that the tower would have been three sided and should have the ability to rotate. He said it would used as a microwave infernometer to measure height of an object in the vertical plane and the position in the horizontal plane with extremely high precision. When I told him how tall it he paused and then said that this would be used for Red - Black exercises and would mostly be built somewhere on the Nellis range. It would need to sit in an area that was surrounded by mountains to block out spying antennas. He said that it would to be able to collect a clear 360 degree 4 dimensional electronic map of everything happening during a Red - Black exercise. It could capture and record where every participant was and it could even detect missiles being engaged. He said there would need to be a very large computer room or trailer for the processing of all the data. At this point I volunteered that the tower was somewhere on the Nellis range. He went on to say that there was one other interesting possibility and that was if instead of microwave dishes each little ball like object was a laser. Unfortunately the conversation was interrupted and I don't expect to get back to it until the middle of next month. Two things that took me by surprise are that there is constant spying by foreign powers on the Nellis range and that the height of the tower is such that it gives a very steep angle in the vertical. Which begged the question, are they tracking objects coming in on a slope from near orbital heights? Anyways it was fun weekend.