(Source: Southgate ARC via Eric McFadden)
Broadcaster KUNC reports that a little-known radio station in Fort Collins might one day save the world
An array of radio towers sits behind security fences amid farms and pastures north of Fort Collins. This is home to WWV, the country’s oldest radio call letters. The station’s high-frequency broadcasts can be heard around the globe if you have the right kind of radio.
Now playing: pulsing sounds, every second, followed by an announcement of the exact time.
The station is run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, which is home to the atomic clock. WWV is capable of more than telling time. It could, if need be, save the world.
“Could be,” said Elizabeth Donley, chief of NIST’s Time and Frequency Division. “It’s an important part of our work.”
This year the station conducted communications exercises in coordination with the Department of Defense. Thirty-seven states, National Guard units, emergency management agencies and others participated in simple announcements. They were meant to see how many listeners are out there and how far away they can be reached. The answer: there are thousands of listeners as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
Mark Jensen, a civilian planner with U.S. Northern Command, the military’s homeland security operation in Colorado Springs, called WWV a “most essential asset to our nation.”
Should an emergency arise, volunteers would jump into action. They’re part of a program the military dubs MARS, which stands for Military Auxiliary Radio System. While jokes abound that the operators should not be confused for Martians, their work is serious. It’s doomsday stuff, like responding to the aftermath of a nuclear attack because the associated electromagnetic pulse could wipe out most communications.
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