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Found 6 results

  1. History Gin Head Rader Research Facility was made ready for action in 1943, during the Second World War. It was used as an early warning station to alert the RAF to incoming enemy aircraft; it allowed the RAF to scramble fighters specifically to the areas under attack and was part of the reason why the RAF always appeared to be in the right place at the right time. The site was also a secret facility that tested and developed radar systems for the Royal Navy and the Air Ministry. The Luffewaffe failed to recognise its significance throughout the war. The main priority was to assess captured German radar equipment. In particular, experiments were conducted on German Wurzburg and Seetaktrader equipment; this helped to understand the systems used by German destroyers, mine sweepers and other ships. The site is also well known for the innovative equipment that was produced prior to the D Day Landings in France on 6th June 1944. After the success at Gin Head, another site was established at Flamborough Head in Yorkshire; even this site was capable of detecting large enemy naval movements at sea. It is estimated that many allied lives were saved because of this technology. One of the additional major achievements of the Gin Head facility was the development of the technique named ‘Window’. The method here was to drop bundles of aluminium from an aircraft which would reflect enemy radar signals and jam their stations. It is reported that calculated amounts of aluminium dropped at certain intervals could deceive enemy reader and make it appear as though one bomber was a mass of planes or ships. The site continued to operate as a testing facility after the war, under the command of the Admiralty, although the station was reduced to maintenance level by the mid 1950’s. Nevertheless, a high level of security was still retained. Gin Head was owned by the MOD up until the early 1980’s when it was eventually sold to GEC Ferranti (now Bae Systems Avionics Ltd.); a company which specialised in manufacturing gun sights for the RAF. Ferranti continued to use the facility for testing and developing equipment for the MOD during the final years of the Cold War. The site was abandoned during the mid 1990’s and although it is currently privately owned, no plans to develop the area have arisen. Our Version of Events After our little explore in the North Sea, we decided to head back inland and check out the derelict looking building that we’d spied on the cliff edge when we initially set out to reach Bass Rock. Back on dry land, although slightly damp ourselves, we managed to reach the secure perimeter of the former research facility. The fence is still heavily covered in barbed wire, and since it was strategically positioned on the cliff edge, it’s very difficult to enter from the opposite side. After some strategic thinking of our own though, we managed to conquer the fence. Inside, the site is almost entirely stripped, although the buildings look fairly intact from the outside. A few interesting features still remain if you look hard enough, such as the protective netting, the large ramp and a few traces that the site was in fact a radar testing facility. One thing I feel I must add above all else, however, is that after discovering the significance of this site during the war, I feel satisfied that we were able to have a good look around and see the last remnants before it disappears forever. Explored with Ford Mayhem. 1: Gin Head Radar Research Facility from the sea 2: Gin Head Radar Research Facility from the land 3: Boiler house 4: Outside the main buildings 5: Central area 6: An example of most of the rooms 7: The ramp (used to position large radar equipment) 8: Front building 9: Side shot of front building 10: Inside 11: One of the main rooms 12: Another main room 13: The front room 14: Upstairs 15: Upstairs front room 16: Caution non ionizing radiation 17: The front of the station 18: Admiring the netting 19: Up on the roof 20: Remains of the roof 21: Room with seating 22: A corsa
  2. RAF Neatishead. Norfolk. June 2015

    Back in 1994 I visited this site when I was helping out with a open day when I was in the cadets. Many years later I was shocked when I found out that you could now get tours around the site and the bunker, so for the last 4 years I have been waiting to get onto one, but each time I have either been working or on holiday, but this time I got lucky and away we went to have some fun and games. The day was perfect as we met up with people who I had only ever chatted online with , so It was fab to finally put a face to the person. The only gripe of the day was the typical british weather, when we popped back out on ground level it was raining sideways, so that ruined our chances of a great group photo under the Radar. A little bit about the site and what it was used for. World War II In 1941, the Air Ministry surveyed a piece of land not far from the Broads at Horning in Norfolk with a view to establishing a site to host a brand new Air Defence station, a Ground Control Intercept station to be exact, from where Fighter Controllers, backed up by a wide range of support staff, could direct RAF fighters, day or night, to attack enemy aircraft from Germany as they launched raids against Military and Industrial targets in Norfolk as well as against the City of Norwich itself. In September 1941, two years into the Second World War, the first Secret radar system was installed at the new Radar Station of RAF Neatishead. Initially, the complement of forty airmen and airwomen was billeted at a local village and training began in this radical early warning system. At first, the station was home to temporary mobile Radars but it was soon to boast new, improved fixed Radar systems such as the Type 7 Search Radar and Type 13 Height-finding Radars. The hardened Control Room, the “Happidrome†was built and it is this very building which, today, forms part of the Museum. The Cold War At the end of World War II in 1945 the world entered seamlessly into a new conflict that was to last 45 years – the Cold War. As the defences for the United Kingdom were reorganised with fewer but more advanced Radar Stations to meet the new threat, RAF Neatishead continued to play an increasingly important role in the Air Defence of Great Britain. The station was established as a Sector Operations Centre (SOC) and continued to be used as such until 2004, by which time the only other SOC was in Buchan, Scotland. In 1954, the main Operations Centre was re- established deep underground in a vast two- storey hardened Bunker designed to withstand attack by Nuclear bombs. Between them, the Centres were responsible to NATO for the Air Defence of the UK, the Western North Sea (including the vital oil production platforms), and the Eastern North Atlantic well out past Ireland. To provide cover over such a vast area, a number of remote Radar sites were set up to feed information into the Sector Operations Centres, with Trimingham on the North Norfolk Coast being the Radar site still associated with RAF Neatishead today. By 2004, technology had improved to such an extent that all controlling functions could be undertaken from one Control Centre at RAF Boulmer in Northumberland. Neatishead Today Today, the aim of the base at Neatishead is to “to provide radar, ground-to-air radio and data links coverage as part of the UK Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS), in support of national and NATO air defence; a task that has become increasingly important after the tragic events of 9/11.†Now called a Remote Radar Head, staff based here are responsible for both the Radar at Trimingham as well as equipment at a number of other sites in North Norfolk and at Neatishead itself. Information is sent by secure datalinks from the various systems to RAF Boulmer where the Controllers monitor UK airspace. The above information has been taken from the museum's website, and plenty more information can be found on that right here My photos from the 3 hours spent inside and down below 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
  3. Duga 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
  4. Belgium Zone Braams - visited May 2014

    Afternoon all, Another regular spot on the tour trail and now sadly demo'd. Zone Braams. This is an old NATO satellite communication control centre. It was built in 1969 and started communication in 1971. Apparently, a new satellite is going to be built here now the old one has gone. Didn't take loads of photos here but happy with those I took. Cheers for looking in.
  5. UK RAF Stenigot November 2013

    This is my first post and I'm aware this place has been covered a few times but not for a while so here goes. Set off for St John's Asylum and was highly disappointed that all possible ways in to any of the buildings have recently been reinforced with copious amounts of 6 inch screws. Gutted ! so on with plan 'B' and off we went in search of RAF Stenigot. You can't really miss place, the mast gives it's location away. Parked up and walked to the four now redundant parabolic dishes. Although it didn't make up for the disappointment of St John's we were more than happy with the visit even though we were losing light and fingers due to the cold. History RAF Stenigot was opened in 1940 as an east coast Chain Home radar station. Stenigot provided long range early warning for raids from Luftflotte V and the northern elements of Luftflotte II along the approaches to Sheffield and Nottingham and the central Midlands. After the war, the station remained operational as part of the 'defended area', a line of chain home stations running down the east coast from Flamborough Head in Yorkshire and along the south coast to Portland Bill in Dorset. The equipment and buildings were removed in 1996 although the four parabolic dishes can still be seen lying on the ground close to the old chain home receiver block. All the other buildings connected with Ace High, including the police house have been demolished with only the concrete bases remaining to indicate their former positions. History brazenly stolen from here:Subterranea Britannica Me - just to give some perspective to the size of these things
  6. UK RAF Stenigot, August 2013

    RAF Stenigot was opened in 1940 as an east coast Chain Home radar station. Stenigot provided long range early warning for raids from Luftflotte V and the northern elements of Luftflotte II along the approaches to Sheffield and Nottingham and the central midlands. East coast stations were built to the same design as the experimental radar establishment set up at Bawdsey in 1936 consisting of a protected transmitter and receiver block with transmitter aerials suspended from four 350′ steel towers and the receiver aerials mounted on four 240′ timber towers. The operations blocks of an east coast CH are classified as Type A with a 5′ 6″ layer of shingle on the roof to disperse blast, and earth banks around them. RAF Stenigot was also provided with a buried reserve which consisted of duplicate transmitter and receiver blocks at a dispersed location. The stand-by set house, which at Stenigot has now been demolished, was of similar construction. RAF Stenigot was in Ludford Magna Sector (PRO file Air 25/681) under the jurisdiction of 73 Wing. In 1941/1942 RAF Stenigot was also fitted with a GEE Ground Station Type 7000 (PRO file Air 25/681). GEE was highly effective and accurate as an aid to navigation, but it lacked the pin-point accuracy needed for a bombing attack on a selected target. A British scientist Alec Reeves developed a through-the-clouds bombing technique known as OBOE. By mid-1944 the principle of OBOE was combined with GEE and a blind bombing technique known as GEE H was developed allowing strikes to be made on difficult-to-hit targets. The station at St. Stenigot was upgraded to GEE H in the 1950′s with two identical operations blocks replacing the 1941 GEE hut. After the war, the station remained operational as part of the ‘defended area’, a line of chain home stations running down the east coast from Flamborough Head in Yorkshire and along the south coast to Portland Bill in Dorset. Some of those stations were unmanned, the rest were only staffed during daylight hours cognizant with the then-current as the Soviet threat. Stenigot was retained as a CH station during the early stages (Phase 1 & 2) of the ROTOR 1 programme which was evolved in 1950 to re-establish an effective air defence radar network. The existing equipment was modified and renovated to provide temporary cover during the construction of the new protected radar sites. Following the full implementation of ROTOR Stenigot was taken off line and placed in care and maintenance. In 1959, Stenigot was selected as part of NATO’s Ace High communications programme developed in the mid 1950′s. Ace High was a tropospheric scatter/microwave link system providing an exclusive communications network comprising 49 tropospheric scatter links and 40 line-of-sight microwave links. It extended from northern Norway and through central Europe to eastern Turkey and included 570 voice, 260 telegraph and 60 data circuits at 84 sites. The Ace High station utilized 4.72 acres of the former CH site between the earlier transmitter and receiver blocks. It was enclosed within a security fence and provided with high intensity lighting. A two storey police house stood at the entrance gate part way along a track running north west from the road. The most prominent feature was two pairs of parabolic dish antenna, 60 feet in diameter supported on seven lattice steel girder legs. The transmitters, receivers and power supplies were located in a single storey brick building between the pairs of dishes. With the development of new microwave communications technology in the 1980′s, tropospheric scatter systems became redundant and the Ace High network was abandoned in the early 1990′s and the stations closed. The equipment and buildings were removed in 1996 although the four parabolic dishes can still be seen lying on the ground close to the old chain home receiver block. All the other buildings connected with Ace High, including the police house have been demolished with only the concrete bases remaining to indicate their former positions. Information above courtesy of the excellent site Subterranea Brittanica http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/s/stenigot/ In addition the initials ACE are short for Allied Command Europe. All references to CH in photo comments are Chain Home, all references to AH are Ace High. 1 The 4 AH communications dishes 2 3 4 "NATO Equipment for project Ace High". I cannot read the third line, it may start with the word Contract 5 6 7 8 CH Transmitter Block in front of the CH Radar Transmitter mast, the last remaining mast on site 9 On to the CH Transmitter Bunker 10 Main entrance to room 1 11 12 13 14 15 16 Blocked off doorway, this originally led to room 2 17 18 19 20 21 Some type of emplacement near the outer entrance to room 2 22 Inside room 2 23 24 The CH Transmitter mast. As this is still a live training facility I did not enter the compound, but I think you get an idea of the scale of it thanks for looking!
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