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More On Optical Space Surveillance History

From: Terry W. Colvin <fortean1.nul>
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2013 13:15:21 +0700 (GMT+07:00)
Archived: Fri, 01 Feb 2013 06:55:04 -0500
Subject: More On Optical Space Surveillance History

(USAF Radar Station Veterans)
Update on Optical Space Surveillance History
Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:03 am (PST) .

Posted by: "chickshackewyc" chickshackewyc@


When Aerospace Defense Command was decommission SAC picked up what
was then known as Strategic Defense which included Missile Warning
and Space Surveilance sysems. I was stationed at SACCA Headquarters
in 1980 and our office was responsible for the oversight of the
maintenance and logistics of the following programs:

Baker Nunn
Cobra Dane

Neither Baker Nunn nor GEODSS were ever on Ascension Island

Ascension was always a radar tracking station.

Baker Nunn Camera Network
A special satellite tracking camera, designed by James G. Baker
and Joseph Nunn, was installed at twelve camera stations around
the world between 36 degrees north and 36 degrees south of the

Stations were located at:

Jupiter, Florida (closed in 1967)

Organ Pass, New Mexico (moved to Mount Hopkins, Arizona, in 1968)
Maui, Hawaii

Curacao, Netherlands West Indies (moved to Natal, Brazil, in 1966)
Arequipa, Peru

Villa Dolores, Argentina (moved to Comodoro Rivadavia,
Argentina, in 1966)

Shiraz, Iran (moved to Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, in 1966)

Olifantsfontein, South Africa

Naini Tal, India

San Fernando, Spain; Tokyo, Japan (closed in 1968) and Woomera,
Australia (moved to the Space Research Site at Island Lagoon,
Australia, in 1964).

Cooperative programs enabled Satellite Tracking Program to track
satellites at United States Air Force stations at:

Oslo, Norway,

Johnston Island

Kwajalein Island

The Royal Canadian Air Force Station were at Cold Lake, Alberta

Harvard University's station was at Agassiz Station

The geodetic station was at the National Technical University of
Athens, Greece.

GEODSS Network

Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance, or GEODSS,
is an optical system that uses telescopes, low-light level TV
cameras, and computers. It replaced an older system of six 20
inch (half meter) Baker-Nunn cameras using photographic film.
There are three operational GEODSS sites that report to
the 21st Operations Group:

Socorro, New Mexico

Maui, Hawaii

Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory

A site at Choe Jong San, South Korea was closed in 1993 due to
nearby smog from the town, weather and cost concerns.

Originally, the fifth GEODSS was planned to be operated from a
site in Portugal, but this was never built.

A mobile telescope that contributes to the GEODSS system is
located at Mor=C3=B3n Air Base, Spain

Chick Shackewyc
USAF, SMSgt Ret.
Missile Warning & Space Surveillance Systems


Terry W. Colvin
Ladphrao (Bangkok), Thailand
Pran Buri (Hua Hin), Thailand
[Terry's Fortean & "Work" itty-bitty site]

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