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Three giant golf balls (1993)

RAF Fylingdales has been in operation for around 40 years. It was built as an early warning station during the cold war to detect a potential nuclear attack. These domes were replaced with SSPAR. The Fylingdales Solid State Phased Array, or SSPAR as it is usually called, is very different from the ‘golf balls’, although the job it does is the same. The current radar has no big dishes that turn, indeed no moving parts at all. Instead, the SSPAR uses changes in electrical phase to steer the radar beam. The SSPAR searches out to some 3 000 miles continuously looking for missiles. Whilst carrying out this role, it also is able to track some 800 separate objects simultaneously and, as a result, the space surveillance capability has been greatly enhanced.

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Paignton TQ3, United Kingdom

Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 26, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Tony Carter