Thule Tracking Station

Last updated

The Thule Tracking Station (TTS, 76°30′57″N68°36′0″W / 76.51583°N 68.60000°W / 76.51583; -68.60000 ) is a U.S. Air Force installation in Greenland. It is near Thule Air Base and has a Remote Tracking Station (callsign: Polar Orbiting Geophysical Observatory(POGO)) of the U.S. Air Force Satellite Control Network. It was originally the classified 6594th Test Wing (Satellite)'s Operating Location 5 designated by Air Force Systems Command on October 15, 1961: the station was operational on March 30, 1962, with "transportable antenna vans parked in an old [ SAC] bomb assembly building." [1] The permanent RTS equipment was emplaced in 1964, [1] and a communications terminal was emplaced on Pingarssuit Mountain--Thule Site N-32 [2] (moved to Thule Site J in 1983. [1] TTS transferred to Detachment 3, 22nd Space Operations Squadron, in 1992 and includes a "fully equipped mini-fitness center". [1] The stations "C-side" of electronics was removed in summer 2011 and the upgrade to an Automated Remote Tracking Station is forecast to be completed in 2015.

Greenland Autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark

Greenland is an autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium. The majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors began migrating from the Canadian mainland in the 13th century, gradually settling across the island.

Thule Air Base US air base in Thule, Greenland

Thule Air Base, or Thule Air Base/Pituffik Airport, is the United States Air Force's northernmost base, located 1,207 km (750 mi) north of the Arctic Circle and 1,524 km (947 mi) from the North Pole on the northwest coast of the island of Greenland.

The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) provides support for the operation, control, and maintenance of a variety of United States Department of Defense and some non-DoD satellites. This involves continual execution of Telemetry, Tracking, and Commanding (TT&C) operations. In addition, the AFSCN provides prelaunch checkout and simulation, launch support, and early orbit support while satellites are in initial or transfer orbits and require maneuvering to their final orbit. The AFSCN provides tracking data to help maintain the catalog of space objects and distributes various data such as satellite ephemeris, almanacs, and other information.

Related Research Articles

PAVE PAWS early warning radar

PAVE PAWS is an elaborate Cold War early warning radar and computer system developed in 1980 to "detect and characterize a sea-launched ballistic missile attack against the United States". With the first solid-state phased array deployed, the system at the perimeter of the contiguous United States used a pair of Raytheon AN/FPS-115 radar sets at each site as part of the United States Space Surveillance Network.

Ballistic Missile Early Warning System

The RCA 474L Ballistic Missile Early Warning System was a United States Air Force Cold War early warning radar, computer, and communications system, for ballistic missile detection. The network of 12 radars, which was constructed beginning in 1958 and became operational in 1961, was for detecting "a mass ballistic missile attack launched on northern approaches [for] 15 to 25 minutes' warning time" also provided Project Space Track satellite data.

Station Nord, Greenland Military outpost

Station Nord is a military and scientific station in northeastern Greenland 1700 km north of the Arctic Circle at 81°43'N, 17°47'W. ICAO: BGNO.

Clear Air Force Station

Clear Air Force Station is a United States Air Force Station radar station for detecting incoming ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles to NORAD's command center and to provide Space Surveillance data to Air Force Space Command's Space Control Center (SCC). Clear's AN/FPS-123 Upgraded Early Warning Radar is part of the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) which also includes those at Beale AFB, Cape Cod AFS, RAF Fylingdales and Thule Site J. The "historic property" was one of the Alaska World War II Army Airfields and later a Cold War BMEWS site providing NORAD data to Colorado's BMEWS Central Computer and Display Facility (CC&DF).

22nd Space Operations Squadron United States Air Force unit

The 22d Space Operations Squadron is a United States Air Force unit of the 50th Network Operations Group, itself a part of the 50th Space Wing, and is located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

Cobra Dane

The AN/FPS-108 COBRA DANE is a PESA phased array radar installation operated by Raytheon for the United States Air Force at Eareckson Air Station on the island of Shemya, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. This radar system was built in 1976 and brought on-line in 1977 for the primary mission of intelligence gathering in support of verification of the SALT II arms limitation treaty. Its single face radar with a 29 m (95 ft) diameter phased array radar antenna 52.7373°N 174.0914°E faces the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kura Test Range. COBRA DANE operates in the 1215–1400 MHz band.

Eastern Range American rocket range

The Eastern Range (ER) is an American rocket range that supports missile and rocket launches from the two major launch heads located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. The range has also supported Ariane launches from the Guiana Space Centre as well as launches from the Wallops Flight Facility and other lead ranges. The range also uses instrumentation operated by NASA at Wallops and KSC.

Comers Midden

Comer's Midden was a 1916 archaeological excavation site near Thule, north of Mt. Dundas in North Star Bay in northern Greenland. It is the find after which the Thule culture was named. The site was first excavated in 1916 by whaling Captain George Comer, ice master of the Crocker Land Expedition's relief team, and of members of Knud Rasmussen's Second Danish Thule Expedition who were in the area charting the North Greenland coast.

12th Space Warning Squadron

The 12th Space Warning Squadron is a United States Air Force ground-based radar used for missile warning, missile defense, and space situation awareness, stationed at Thule Air Base, Greenland.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point human settlement in North Carolina, United States of America

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point or MCAS Cherry Point(*34.9009°N 76.8807°W) is a United States Marine Corps airfield located in Havelock, North Carolina, USA, in the eastern part of the state. It was built in 1941, and was commissioned in 1942 and is currently home to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Thule Air Station

Thule Air Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 9.2 miles (14.8 km) south of Thule Air Base, Greenland. It was closed in 1965.

Camp TUTO

Camp TUTO was a major U.S. Army operated research camp at the foot of the Greenland ice cap, 18 miles (29 km) east of Thule Air Base. It operated from 1954 to 1966, with revisits for follow-up research.

Solid State Phased Array Radar System

The Solid State Phased Array Radar System is a USAF radar, computer, and communications system for missile warning and space surveillance "at five (5) geographically separated units worldwide including Beale AFB, CA, Cape Cod, AFS, MA, Clear AFS, AK, RAF Fylingdales, UK, and Thule AB, Greenland." SSPARS completed replacement of the RCA 474L Ballistic Missile Early Warning System when the last SSPAR was operational at Clear in 2001, the year SSPARS equipment included:

Thule Site J

Thule Site J (J-Site) is a United States Air Force (USAF) radar station in Greenland near Thule Air Base for missile warning and spacecraft tracking. The northernmost station of the Solid State Phased Array Radar System, the military installation was built as the 1st site of the RCA 474L Ballistic Missile Early Warning System and had 5 of 12 BMEWS radars. The station has the following structures:

Pingarssuit Mountain is a Greenland landform near Thule Air Base and which has a USAF military installation.

AN/FPQ-16 PARCS

The AN/FPQ-16 Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System is a powerful phased-array radar system located in North Dakota. It is the second most powerful phased array radar system in the US Air Force's fleet of missile warning and space surveillance systems.

Eglin AFB Site C-6

Eglin AFB Site C-6 is an Air Force Space Command radar station which houses the AN/FPS-85 phased array radar, associated computer processing system(s), and radar control equipment. Commencing operations in 1969, the AN/FPS-85 was the first large phased array radar. The entire radar/computer system is located at a receiver/transmitter building and is supported by the site's power plant, fire station, 2 water wells, and other infrastructure for the system. As part of the US Air Force's Space Surveillance Network its mission is to detect and track spacecraft and other manmade objects in Earth orbit for "the Joint Space Operations Center satellite catalogue". With a peak radiated power of 32 megawatts the Air Force claims it is the most powerful radar in the world, and can track a basketball-sized object up to 22,000 nautical miles from Earth.

Cudjoe Key Air Force Station is a Formerly Used Defense Site of 68.5 acres (27.7 ha) in Monroe County, Florida, 7 mi (11 km) Northeast of Perky, Florida.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 title tbd (PDF) (Report). MilitaryOneSource.mil. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  2. Fletcher, Harry R. Air Force Bases (PDF) (Report). Volume II: Air Bases Outside the United States of America. Retrieved 2014-03-16.