Tag Archives: USAF

White Alice Communications System: a precursor to USAF sat comms

The St Lawrence Island site. Author: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library (via Abandoned Spaces)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steven Crawford, who writes:

Came across this article about a communications system that was a precursor to sat comms for the Air Force and thought it may be of interest to your followers.

(Source: Abandoned Spaces)

Equipped with up to 80 radio stations, this remnant of the Cold War once served as a tropospheric scatter communications system using microwave relay. Its location, Alaska. It was initially constructed during the 1950s.

The United States Air Force saw great benefit from this communication system for it improved their communication tremendously. Years before this system was installed, Alaska had only the essentials when it came to communication systems.

It wasn’t until Bell Systems came up with their design for the U.S.A.F. that Alaska would receive proper communications links. The name White Alice Communications System in itself is an acronym made up of the following words – White, for it was used in the snow-covered land of Alaska, and Alice, that stands for Alaska Integrated Communications and Electronics.[…]

Continue reading at Abandoned Spaces.

Many thanks for sharing this, Steven!

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Paul remembers the FLR-9 “Elephant Cage” in Misawa Japan

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who writes:

I was a morse intercept operator in the USAF in the late 1960s. I have a nice picture of a FLR-9 at Misawa Japan (now gone I think):

I was at Misawa from 68-70 in the USAF Security Service. I copied high speed code, mostly cut numbers. Got my ham license after discharge. I had 3 R390 receivers at my “position” and numerous different “antennas” on the FLR-9 to listen in different directions. While there I received a commendation for: “Providing information that otherwise would not have been known” I’m not sure I can say any more details.

To me [this photo] shows the immensity of the antenna.
Thanks.
Paul

Yes–this antenna is enormous! It must be a site to see up close. I’ve only seen Wullenweber Antennas from satellite imagery. Thank you so much for sharing your photo!

Click here to read previous posts about “Elephant Cages.”

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USAF wants to release ionized gas in the upper atmosphere to improve HF

Earth

(Source: Southgate ARC)

New Scientist magazine reports the US Air Force is working on plans to improve HF radio propagation by releasing ionised gas in the upper atmosphere using a fleet of micro satellites

As well as increasing the range of radio signals, the USAF says it wants to smooth out the effects of solar winds, which can knock out GPS, and also investigate the possibility of blocking communication from enemy satellites.

The story says there are at least two major challenges. One is building a plasma generator small enough to fit on a CubeSat – roughly 10 centimetres cubed. Then there’s the problem of controlling exactly how the plasma will disperse once it is released.

Read the story at
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2100382-us-air-force-wants-to-plasma-bomb-the-sky-using-tiny-satellites/

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