Report on AN/FPS-35 Radar ITAO Camp Hero State Park

Compiled 12/31/2016 by Agent codex

Camp Hero State Park, formerly Montauk Air Force Station, is the site of an AN/FPS-35 radar tower and antenna, the only one remaining as all of the 11 others built have been dismantled. The local residents of Montauk organized to keep this radar from being removed, and as it stands now, it is a visual landmark in the State Park as well as for nearby boaters. The radar was built in December of 1960, and was briefly shut down in 1961 to be recalibrated, as it was interfering too strongly with local radio and television broadcasts.

Technical specifications:

Manufacturer: Sperry

Type of Radar: 2D Surveillance

IEEE Band: P Band

NATO Band: B Band

Exact Frequency: 400 – 450 MHz

The AN/FPS-35 was part of the USAF Frequency-Diversity program1, intended to replace existing SAGE2 equipment and provide better ECCM3 capabilities. The antenna weight of 70 tons caused some problems in its operation.

Equipment, such as that for heating and air conditioning, switching gear and power generator are located in the first floor of the tower. The second floor houses the console room, machine shop and maintenance and testing areas. Radar equipment is placed on the third and fourth floors. The transmission lines and its accessories are located on the fifth floor.

Frequency Diversity Radar is an interesting topic, and one that I know nothing about. This page seems to describe it succinctly enough for a layman to understand, and I hope it might help you to understand how this type of radar operates.

http://www.radartutorial.eu/01.basics/Frequency%20Diversity%20Radar.en.html

Agent acentes did some estimation, and determined that with the presumed battery power that would be stored with this radar, it could be operational through 2025. The radar dish itself has been observed to move as recently as 2011, according to one source. Another source, cited often but hard to pin down precisely, claims that an enormous amount of electricity is being used by the facility even today. There is a gigawatt meter on one of the service buildings onsite at Montauk AFS, which could help to corroborate that account 4.

Given the above information, I think this radar is highly suspect in our case of the ‘vanished’ data. The AN/FPS-35 is specifically designed to randomly jump frequencies using its ECCM, is exceptionally powerful, and by some accounts could still be in full operation.


1 In June 1955 Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York, let design-study contracts for six new ground control of intercepts (GCI) radars, each to operate in a segment of the frequency range 214 to 5900 MHz. At that time, Air Force GCI radars were moving through attrition toward occupancy of only two frequency bands: the AN/ FPS-7 surveillance and height-finding radar with stacked beams operated at 1300 MHz, and the AN/FPS-6 height-finding radar operated at 2900 MHz. These two radars, lineal descendants of radars developed during World War II, constituted what amounted to a single-frequency air-defense radar system. The frequency-diversity (FD) radar program was to reverse that trend.

The spread of operating frequencies to be provided by the FD radar program promised to make it more costly in terms of payload for an airborne intruder to penetrate and survive in the defensive radar environment, as discussed in the main text. At the same time, the new program would enhance the Air Force's GCI capabilities, in particular its ability to feed high-quality data to the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air-defense system.

Five of the six proposed radars were selected for prototype development, and four were produced in quantity. These five systems in their prototype forms were installed for testing and evaluation at operational Air Force sites in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, part of the Mobile, Alabama, Air-Defense Sector. Their test programs began in 1959.

In addition, the AN/GLA-8 signal processing system, built by Airborne Instrument Laboratory, was an important common adjunct to each frequency-diversity radar. This equipment included a special anti-jamming console used by the radar's human counter-countermeasures (CCMs) operator. As discussed in the main text, CCMs such as frequency hopping and PRF jitter/stagger are useful in reducing the effectiveness of both passive countermeasures (chaff, for example) and active countermeasures (spot and noise jamming, and signal repeaters). The wise use of the many features of a highly flexible FD radar required special skills and sophisticated technological support.

(From “Long-Range UHF Radars for Ground Control of Airborne Interceptors” by William W. Ward and F. Robert Naka, in the Lincoln Laboratory Journal, Volume 12, Number 2.)

2 The SAGE radar stations of Air Defense Command (Aerospace Defense Command after 1968) were the military installations operated by USAF squadrons using the 1st automated air defense environment (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) and networked by the SAGE System, a computer network. Most of the radar stations used the Burroughs AN/FST-2 Coordinate Data Transmitting Set (CDTS) to automate the operator environment and provide radar tracks to sector command posts at SAGE Direction Centers (DCs). The sector/division radar stations were networked by DCs and Manual Control Centers to provide command, control, and coordination for ground-controlled interception of enemy aircraft by interceptors such as the F-106 developed to work with the SAGE System.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAGE_radar_stations)

3 Electronic Counter-CounterMeasures (ECCM) is the method by which you endeavour to combat the ECM systems of the enemy by either making your equipment ECM-resistant or by using techniques to nullify his jamming and/or decoy systems. It is an extremely sensitive area in that any disclosure of ECCM measures designed into a system are likely to inform the enemy of its vulnerability to ECM.

Against jamming systems, the most commonly used method is frequency agility, whereby the transmissions are made to „hop” over a large frequency band in a random fashion. This means that either the jammer has to spread its power over the entire band with the inevitable loss of strength on any particular frequency, or it must attempt to follow the signal as it hops randomly.

(http://www.radartutorial.eu/16.eccm/ja08.en.html)

4 They point to the existence of the power line and gigawatt meter as clear evidence of secret, and by extrapolation unconstitutional, illicit operations at the A.F. Station. In June 1996 this assertion was confirmed as fact by a serviceman (who wishes to retain confidentiality) for LILCO, the electric utility company for the Montauk area (and virtually all Long Island). A linesman and meter reader for the Camp Hero vicinity, he has stated for the record that he and his supervisors are indeed aware that a tremendous amount of electricity is utilized by this power line and recorded by the meter. He also noted that it is absolutely not possible for the one maintenance building to use that much power for equipment maintenance operations or any other conceivable and legitimate State Parks activities.

(http://www.crystalinks.com/montauk1.html)


References

"AN/FPS Series". Alternate Wars. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. http://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Radar/FPS_Series.htm 

"Montauk Project". Crystalinks. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. http://www.crystalinks.com/montauk1.html

Radar Basics. Web. 31 Dec. 2016.http://www.radartutorial.eu/

"Rally Round The Radar". The East Hampton Star. Web. 30 Dec. 2016.http://easthamptonstar.com/Archive/1/Rally-Round-Radar 

"SAGE Radar Stations." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAGE_radar_stations 

"Spookiness in Montauk: Why Did the Radar Dish at Camp Hero Just Turn to Face South?". Dan’s Papers. 31 Dec. 2016. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. http://www.danspapers.com/2011/10/spookiness-in-montauk-why-did-the-radar-dish-at-camp-hero-just-turn-to-face-south/