Re: Pads near Cockeyed Ridge South East of Groom

Help keep this
web site online

[ Post a Reply ] [ Discussion Forum Index ] [ FAQ ]

Message posted by Skeet (Member since 06/29/2022) on July 04, 2022 at 4:00:05 PST:

I believe you are correct about the electrical junction boxes. They look like they're there to provide power (and perhaps data links) for whatever is being tested. Similar junction boxes?

It's very interesting to see the object in the panoramas. The size of the object is still puzzling to me, especially when compared to the fuel tanks behind the old U2 hangers (3714'38.4"N 11549'02.1"W). It's much wider.

I did some looking around NTTR and found another two similar looking objects at Site 4 in the Tonopah Test Range: 3742'42.1"N 11625'53.4"W

There is one object at the S/W corner and one on the east side of the building in the middle of the radar site. Look at the weird contrast google earth sat image from 3/2018 at site 4 and you can see a spine on the north east object which matches the 2/2022 sat image of the object at building 50. The size matches as well so I'm 99.9% certain that the objects are the same.

That area of Tonopah is part of the Electronic Combat Range where they're simulating foreign threats for the various flag exercises, as you know. I'm guessing these objects are some of sort of support trailer for testing either new radar systems, threat simulators or electronic counter-measures. If that is the case, the Cockeyed Ridge pads are likely used to test these systems against test aircraft flying out of Area 51.

As for why the pads were built in the mountain, I can think of a few reasons:
1. The site simulates a hidden SAM/AAA threat which would be useful for testing counter-measures or airborne targeting systems. Nice promotional video from Leonardo of their threat simulator:
2. The terrain of the saddle could prevent EM wave leakage. This might be useful for testing new equipment where knowledge of which wavebands are being used is sensitive and might be detected if used elsewhere in NTTR. Development of Space Force's Counter Communications System?
3. The height of the pads provides better atmospheric clarity for optically tracking high-flying test aircraft. Perhaps the trailers house cinetheodolites ( or telescopes (


In Reply to: Re: Pads near Cockeyed Ridge South East of Groom posted by Joerg (Webmaster) on June 30, 2022 at 10:30:20 PST:


Post a Reply

(*) are required fields
Name (*):
Password (*):
Subject (*):
Message (*):

Optional information:
Link URL:
Link Title:
Image URL:

[ Discussion Forum Index ] [ FAQ ]