In the mid-1960s the Naval Research Laboratory built an experimental satellite-communications facility at a former Nike missile control site near (W-45). The facility contained a 60-foot parabolic dish antenna, transmitters, and a low-noise receiving system. It was also equipped fully for satellite tracking, data processing, and communications modulation experiments. The installation was completed in 1967.
The facility was used during the Vietnam War as part of a special operation called "Compass Link", established by the Defense Communications Agency to pass high-quality target photography from Vietnam to Washington, DC. Compass link was established using two DSCSI satellites, providing two hops: Vietnam to Hawaii, and Hawaii to Maryland. From Maryland the imagery was transmitted by land line directly to the White House and the Pentagon. Compass Link was used extensively until the end of the Vietnam War.
One of the Navy's goals in building the facility was to test satellite-communications technology at frequencies higher than UHF, where for example, there would be plenty of bandwidth available for new techniques such as anti jam modulation. The first transmitter installed at the facility was in the SHF communications band (radar X-band) of the microwave spectrum. During the late 1960s the Waldorf facility was heavily involved in testing both U.S. commercial satellites and the Defense Satellite Communications System.
In the 1970s the facility was a participant in tests of satellite communications in the EHF band (involving experiments with the Lincoln Laboratory Experimental Satellites (LES) 8 and 9). These tests were part of the MILSTAR development effort.
In the late 1970s, the facility also played a role in tests of the Fleet Broadcast Processor, as part of the FLTSATCOM program.
The facility was decommissioned by the United States Government General Services Administration (GSA) and were publicly auctioned off in 1998 and then repurchased by a private investor in early 2000's.
The right to demolish and scrap the dishes and other structures was auctioned off on ebay on March 13, 2005 for $136.20. The buildings have been demolished and removed. All that remains are the two dishes, some storage tanks and a bunch of concrete slabs.