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Nobby posted a topic in Military SitesDuga 3 (OTH) Radar During our trip to Chernobyl and Pripyat our man on the ground informed us we were off to Duga-3. We jumped in the van and headed off into the countryside a few kilometres from the centre of Pripyat through the vast forests of northern Ukraine to the site. The sight of Duga from the road as we headed in was intimidating, this behemoth of Soviet steel that stood before us getting taller and taller the closer we got started to make my palms sweat and my heart rate rise. I only had one thought on my mind. History The Russian Woodpecker was a notorious Soviet signal that could be heard on the shortwave radio bands worldwide between July 1976 and December 1989. It sounded like a sharp, repetitive tapping noise, at 10 Hz, giving rise to the "Woodpecker" name. The random frequency hops disrupted legitimate broadcast, amateur radio, utility transmissions, and resulted in thousands of complaints by many countries worldwide. The signal was long believed to be that of an over-the-horizon radar (OTH) system. This theory was publicly confirmed after the fall of the Soviet Union, and is now known to be the Duga-3 system, part of the Soviet Anti-ballistic missile early-warning network. The Soviets had been working on early warning radar for their anti-ballistic missile systems through the 1960s, but most of these had been line-of-sight systems that were useful for raid analysis and interception only. None of these systems had the capability to provide early warning of a launch, which would give the defences time to study the attack and plan a response. At the time the Soviet early-warning satellite network was not well developed, and there were questions about their ability to operate in a hostile environment including anti-satellite efforts. An over-the-horizon radar sited in the USSR would not have any of these problems, and work on such a system for this associated role started in the late 1960s. The first experimental system, Duga-1, was built outside Mykolaiv in Ukraine, successfully detecting rocket launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 2,500 kilometres. This was followed by the prototype Duga-2, built on the same site, which was able to track launches from the far east and submarines in the Pacific Ocean as the missiles flew towards Novaya Zemlya. Both of these radar systems were aimed east and were fairly low power, but with the concept proven work began on an operational system. The new Duga-3 systems used a transmitter and receiver separated by about 60 km. Starting in 1976 a new and powerful radio signal was detected worldwide, and quickly dubbed the Woodpecker by amateur radio operators. Transmission power on some woodpecker transmitters was estimated to be as high as 10 MW EIRP. As well as disrupting shortwave amateur radio and broadcasting it could sometimes be heard over telephone circuits due to the strength of the signals. This led to a thriving industry of "Woodpecker filters" and noise blankers. Example of the signal Triangulation quickly revealed the signals came from Ukraine. Confusion due to small differences in the reports being made from various military sources led to the site being alternately located near Kiev, Minsk, Chernobyl, Gomel or Chernihiv. All of these reports were describing the same deployment, with the transmitter only a few kilometers southwest of Chernobyl (south of Minsk, northwest of Kiev) and the receiver about 50 km northeast of Chernobyl (just west of Chernihiv, south of Gomel). Starting in the late 1980s, even as the Federal Communications Comission (FCC) was publishing studies of the signal, the signals became less frequent, and in 1989 disappeared altogether. Although the reasons for the eventual shutdown of the Duga-3 systems have not been made public, the changing strategic balance with the end of the cold war in the late 1980s likely had a major part to play. Another factor was the success of the US-KS early-warning satellites, which entered preliminary service in the early 1980s, and by this time had grown into a complete network. The satellites provide immediate, direct and highly secure warnings, whereas any radar-based system is subject to jamming, and the effectiveness of OTH systems is also subject to atmospheric conditions. According to some reports, the installation was taken off combat alert duty in November 1989, and some of its equipment was subsequently scrapped. The original Duga-3 site lies within the 30 kilometer Zone of Alienation around the Chernobyl Plant. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Thanks for Looking
This was organised by some great lads who worked it out so we had decent accommodation Very good guides and made the trip worth every penny. The list of names of those present is never ending but Bigjobs and Hils, SX-riffraff where there as where quite a few other bods some of who you know.Cant be doing with a 5 part report documenting the place from start to finish from every location/area we visited so what ive done was narrow it down from just under 900 pics to 130 for Flickr and 30 for here,so there is many many more on my hdd but these will give you a taste of what i did,with a cheeky video of me shooting teh Guns at the end of the trip..Went into Kiev on the last day for a wander about but im not the poke your camera in someones face type especially when hes holding an axe and is wearing a stab vest!! For me this was something id thought about but due to finances never thought id get to see so big shout out to me Mum and the wife for finding the funds,BigJobs as ever was entertaining and at the same time respectful to the wishes of the guides who explained you climb you fuck it for everyone if police see you so it was a chilled affair.I dont mix well with people if i cant speak their lingo so cheers to those who saved me the hassle of trying to order stuff by grabbing me cola while at the bar.. Pics in no particular order as photobucket likes to mess the order i uploaded them.. When the Hdr boys found this room and lined up for their shots the sound of 7 brackets being fired off from them all was quite a deafening sound Thanks for looking and you will be glad to know there is no part 2 or 3 etc ..job done