Over-The-Horizon Radar - Christmas Valley

AN/FPS-118 western transmitter

The US Air Force's over-the-horizon-backscatter (OTH-B) air defense radar system is by several criteria the largest radar system in the world. Six one-million-watt OTH radars see far beyond the range of conventional microwave radars by bouncing their 5-28-MHz waves off the ionosphere, an ionized layer about 200 km above the earth. It was developed over 25 years at a cost of $1.5 billion to warn against Soviet bomber attacks when the planes were still thousands of miles from US air space.

Now in "warm storage."


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psycho_roy picture
@ 2005-07-19 23:49:22
...and hundreds die every day cause they dont have anything to eat...
1.5 billion... anyways...
... millions without shelter, or without medical attention...
1.5 billion... anyways...
kjfitz picture
@ 2005-07-20 00:20:09
Sigh... at least they used it.

You must have missed the THREE billion spent on the west coast shuttle launch complex that they closed the day after they finished!


AKpilotEMT picture
@ 2005-12-19 03:51:55
It's interesting how people rant & rave about billions of dollars spent on defense projects while mentioning the starving, the less fortunate.

What is psycho roy's and others' preference? To spend $0 on defense and help the starving first?

If the Soviet Union had its way the whole world would be Communist. Likewise if the Islamist radicals have their way the ENTIRE world would bow down to their extreme form of Islam where it's okay to chop off peoples heads in a public square simply for speaking out against them... or maybe for a man holding hands with a woman in public. I'm not sure about you but I'd prefer not to live in such an environment.

But let's end defense spending and try to get the number of people who starve to death down to zero. While we do that we'll sit back and watch how easily what freedoms do exist in the world cease to exist because certain factions take over here & take over there and eventually what peace there is in the world turns into global war everywhere. Remember - we'd have no money to defend ourselves, no defense budget.

Now imagine this 30 years ago with the Soviet Union dominating the world. If we stopped spending on defense and aimed our money towards helping the starving we'd maybe initially end most of the suffering... on a short term basis... but then because of the fall of freedom, tens of millions more worldwide, probably more realistically hundreds of millions of human beings would begin to suffer and die because the U.S. is no longer a free and charitable nation able to help in the limited capacity it does.

So, end defense spending and allow the world to go to hell? Or continue defense spending to live in the world we have now? Since we can't easily take off for somewhere else, I'd prefer not to see hell across the entire planet, thank you.

P.S. hundreds don't die everyday from starvation... the number, very sadly, is between 30 and 40,000.
Anonymous picture
@ 2011-12-28 14:27:25
No longer is the OTH-B hardware still there... It has been decommissiioned and and hauled away by the Kaiser
Permanente Co. Actually sorry to see it go. Would like to have toured the installation when it was in it's "warm"
state. I can only imagine the size of the transmitters and final tubes. No leading-edge technology here, just tried and true legacy tech. I have in fact, been completely around this facility by vehicle. The 1-Megawatt RF output
of these transmitters is no fantasy: Witness the dedicated HV powerline going into this facility and the load-balancing components at the entrances to each of the three or four buildings!