Aerial Photos of the Junction Ranch RCS Range, May 24, 2020


The Junction Ranch RCS Range is located in the Panamint MOA (Military Operations Area, special use airspace reserved primarily for military operations) about 30 miles north of China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. It is mostly used by the U.S. Navy but occasionally also by private contractors. The range is actually three different ranges. From south to north:

All three ranges are shown in the aerial photos below. The pictures were taken on Sunday, May 24, 2020 from a private aircraft cleared to cross the MOA. Publication on Dreamland Resort with friendly permission by the pilot and photographer, Gabriel Zeifman. Click in the photos to enlarge. Click the coordinates under the photos to see the feature in Google satellite view.

External links for more information:

 

Overview of all three ranges in Etcheron Valley, looking roughly SW. The JCIF Test Track is in the foreground. Following the road further south is the "wet range", the Junction Ranch and finally the original RCS range ( 36 5.400'N / 117 31.500'W)

Close-up of the JCIF Test Track, built in early 2007
(36 8.323'N / 117 32.101'W)

One of the two platforms at the end of the training tracks of the JCIF Test Facility
(36 8.538'N / 117 31.955'W)

The other platform features what appears to be three mobile antenna or instrumentation towers sitting side by side (36 9.084'N / 117 31.936'W)

The base camp of the JCIF Test Facility at the other end of the test tracks
(36 7.489'N / 117 32.332'W)

The "wet range"; it features a mount platform inside a 78x100ft. pond for measuring test article's radiation patterns on water (this is a NAVY range after all) and a large tilt table that allows exploring the radiation pattern from different angles of attack; the antennas are mounted on a nearby peak, looking down on the platforms
(36 6.278'N / 117 31.847'W)

The original RCS range with the Junction Ranch in the foreground; the length of the range is just under a mile (36 2.529'N / 117 30.306'W)

Practice targets in a valley just west of the RCS ranges
(36 9.282'N / 117 37.590'W)

Array of threat simulators further south in the same valley
(36 7.469'N / 117 38.087'W)

A ship in the desert? The Philadelphia Experiment gone wrong again? Actually it is a long building with various radar units on top on a ridge with a clear view of the airspace towards China Lake; the photo on the left faces roughly towards the base (36 1.392'N / 117 37.109'W)


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