Photo Gallery: Stephen makes a pilgrimage to the Duga site

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Stephen Cooper who shares photos from his recent visit to the Duga Soviet Union era over-the-horizon (OTH) radar system near Chernobyl.

The following photo gallery contains images of the antenna, control room, training room and server room. Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge images and browse:

What an amazing site, Stephen! Thank you for sharing your photo tour with us.

Readers: Stephen is also an application developer and the kind fellow behind, Interval Signal Ringtones for Android, and the Shortwave Radio Schedules app. Check them out!

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9 thoughts on “Photo Gallery: Stephen makes a pilgrimage to the Duga site

  1. Edward

    Did you bring a portable SW for an impromptu DXexpedition. Just a coax and alligator clips probably would do it

  2. Jake Brodsky, AB3A

    It never occurred to me as a teenager trying to work stations while my receiver was getting hammered by the woodpecker, to marvel at the sheer size and power of this incredible site.

    That antenna array is still amazing even after all these years. Thanks for the pictures.

  3. Adam KJ7GKX

    This thing is a monster. I heard it often growing up – I’m glad I never saw pictures of it until now because if I knew what it took to make a signal this big, I may have given up on radio!

  4. 13dka

    Wow! I never thought I’d get to see some of the innards of that site! The pics are impressive! Having suffered the woodpecker when it was still active, I’ve always been fascinated by that monster when we got to know what it actually was and where it is. BTW, someone created an X-Plane scenery of Pripyat, with a sound plug-in playing the Duga sound (among others) when you get close to the array. Not quite the same as actually being in “the zone” but still kind of creepy. 🙂

    (Fast forward to 2:15 to see and hear the virtual Duga)

    1. 13dka

      BTW, there seems to be some confusion about the numbering of the Duga stations, German and English WP are both calling the Ukraine site “Duga-1”, while “Duga-2” is the Siberian station, the prototype Duga didn’t have a number and there was no “Duga-3” (like some recordings of the woodpecker are titled, or the video above calls it).

      1. Thomas Post author

        Yes—it is confusing. In fact, Stephen is now questioning the exact number of this site. I noticed a number of media outlets simply refer to it as “Duga” so I’m going to remove the number designator until I can confirm.

        What an amazing site, though! They really took up that mantra of “Go big or go home!” 🙂


    2. Mark Fahey

      Wot! Another flight simmer hear at the SWLing Post! I only listen to the radio when I’m not flying! It’s my first love! Designing and publishing flight sim code and scenery paid for my house!

  5. Jan Evensen

    That radar station was a nightmare for radio operators around the world, blocking almost all shortwave wave bands when it was running.
    We used to call it the Kiev-transmitter.


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