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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a place to post your unidentifiable/bizarre/funny/incredible sights from GE Street View. Post co-ordinates as well so others can see for themselves.

I decided to start this thread when I stumbled across an odd antenna farm near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, in the Canadian north. There is an airport about 16 km SE of the antenna, but due to the fact that it is about 45 degrees from the alignment of the runway, I'm not sure that it is related.
N68 24'47.61" , W133 46' 22.44"

http://img689.imageshack.us/i/unkownantennaarray.jpg

Very low to the ground (maybe 30' high) in an area very close to sea level. Appears to face North/South. It appears to be powered as the overhead electricity lines end at the structure.
Anyone know what it might be? Is it navigation related for the airport?
 

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It could be a Very Long Wave antenna for submarine communications. I know of no other reason for an antenna this large.
 

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It seems to me it is a receive array, if anything.

There is no power lines going underground (the line just dead ends at that last pole), just a single phase service transformer a few poles back, with a rather light feed going to to a small container building.

I would say it is pretty recent, for the satellite view shows nothing, or Google was asked to hide the satellite view.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Civuck for the link.

I would say it is pretty recent, for the satellite view shows nothing, or Google was asked to hide the satellite view.
http://www.jproc.ca/rrp/inuvik_photos1.html

What is used now for is still a mystery.

[/expecting-large-SUV's-with-large-men-with-brush-cuts-&-sporting-military-footwear-to-pull-up-to-my-work-any-moment-now]

cheers.
 

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The article says its a mixture of Rhombic and other antennas. That makes sense now, judging by the picture. I would guess that it's an intelligence gathering operation. A location like Inuvik would be ideal for picking up long wave communications, especially from Russia and Eastern Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I contacted the website owner out of curiosity. He gave his permission to post his replies to this board.

edited for privacy said:
Sorry but I have no idea of the purpose of the array in photo:
http://img689.imageshack.us/i/unkownantennaarray.jpg/

It definitely would not have been part of CFS Inuvik . When the military closes down a station they demolish any exisitng masts or towers so they don't become an abandoned hazard. In Canada , SIGINT is now confined to Alert, Masset, Gander and Leitrim.
edited for privacy said:
To my previous , please add that CFS Inuvik closed its doors in 1986.

When I study that photo a bit more, there are some hints that jump out.
Notice that the towers are in a straight line and extending for quite a distance. They are supporting a very long wire curtain antenna and based on the amount pf towers in the photo, I would say it was for the low wave band. Because is relativel close to Inuvik airport, it probably has some aeronautical function. I'm guessinfg it might be a transmitting antenna for a LF beacon. A receiving antenna for the LF band would never be that long and eloborate.

The telephone pole in the forground is carrying both power and telphones but it seems to end abrubtly there. Usually utilitiy services terminate in a structure of some type when the reach the end of the line.

Hope that helps.
He did not give his explicit permission to post his last email so I will paraphrase his points as best as I can.
Canada depended upon the US Navy for VLF capabilities, so it is not for submarines, and it would not have been placed in the far North for that purpose. The only intelligence gathering arrays are now as listed in the first response above. The CFS Inuvik base was shutdown in 1986. It is not a rhombic antenna.

("73" to VE3FAB if you're listening in here. Thank You! :D)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I received a couple more emails after I last posted, and the antenna array has been identified!
Jerry identified it as a receive antenna which is part of the Aurora Borealis study facility north of Inuvik. He explained the Aurora has substantial emanations in the LF and VLF bands.

Thanks again Jerry. Well done!

On a personal note, I've just realized how amazing the internet is.... In just a little over 24 hours I electronically visited a very isolated part of the world that I will likely never visit in person. I then stumbled upon a unique structure, and with the help of several other essentially anonymous individuals I will likely never meet in person, had it identified. In the process, I learnt a bit about an interesting part of Canada's cold war history. Awesome. Try doing that 20 years ago!!
 

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I was basically right then.

By knowing the details of how power lines connect, and what possible voltages they may be, one can easily surmise what would be there. I can suspect, at least, the three phase lines probably fed the original military system there.

Now, in Christmas Valley Oregon, there is a super VLF Over-The-Horizon radar system. It is fed is at least with a 66KV line.

One can easily see if a tower is a major commercial broadcaster, by seeing if power is a single phase or single phase feed, and the size of the transformers. A commercial broadcaster will most often have 3-phase power (3 transformers, or 3 lines coming off the HV grid). Cell and 2-way towers will have a single phase (one transformer or line coming from the HV grid).
 

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Jerry identified it as a receive antenna which is part of the Aurora Borealis study facility north of Inuvik. He explained the Aurora has substantial emanations in the LF and VLF bands.

Thanks again Jerry. Well done!
I suspected it had something to do with research, and it makes sense the antenna would be that big to pick up trace energy generated by the Northern Lights.

Quebec's long haul electrical transmission lines also acted as an antenna some twenty years ago when the Northern Lights were particularly strong that year. The stray voltages picked up by the lines played havoc with the switching equipment, and the entire grid shut itself down. One technician on duty said when watching the main board go out that it was like looking at Christmas tree lights being turned off!

For Hydro Quebec, it was a first-time event so they weren't prepared for it. But it didn't take them long to figure out exactly what happened and how to filter out the stray energy.

Nice to see research is still being done on the subject.
 

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Yes there is aurora study going on.

He explained the Aurora has substantial emanations in the LF and VLF bands.
That the aurora study is in combination with DND research in low band ionosphere disturbances that occur with certain other non natural phenomena would not at all surprise me.

Dew line research is strange and by and large very esoteric in nature, or at least that is what us plebs are led think about it.

In fact the purpose of the Woodpecker signal is still a huge mystery. Really powerful 10 hertz pulses in the short wave band are really strange and could through harmonics have effects that we just do not as yet understand.

So who knows what they are really trying to listen in on. On a side note I did experience something really weird and wonderful north of 60 concerning the Aurora Borealis. I was working up north when a very large solar caused ionosphere disturbance was happening. Just so happened that the northern lights were from horizon to horizon and well below the median line to the south from the 63rd parallel so it was one hell of a light show. They were flashing like neon. I swear this is true but they had a really strange effect I actually thought I could hear them like a low crackle sound as they flashed accross the sky...I thought ¨oh well I always knew I was nuts¨ but then I talked to some other people about it and sure enough I am not alone.

I know this is off topic but the interesting fact is that when you have huge amounts of energised particles coming into contact with the upper atmosphere perhaps there might be some scientifically significant facts to observe. Our understanding of the effects of high speed matter on large magnetic fields and the upper atmosphere is very limited, so this is really interesting...at least to someone who hears the northern lights!
 

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The CFS Inuvik base was shutdown in 1986.
It is still used though as a forward operating base for the F-18's whenever the Russians come for visit, quite often actually. I see the antennae has been ID'd and I can confirm it's not used as part of the early warning system
 

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antennas used to communicate with submerged submarines would likely be underground, somewhere near the coast (with earth as part of the antennas) due to the extremely long wavelength required to penetrate salt water. they might be able to receive some vlf frequencies if they were near the surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
TKG26 said:
When i lived on the Queen Charletts my father in law worked inside this at CFB MASSET
It's not a Pusher AN/FLR-9 (aka the elephant cage) antenna, but is similar in design. It is a AN/FRD-10 (Fixed-Ground; Radio; Direction Finding, Reconnaissance and Surveillance) and is part of the SIGINT group.

MarcP said:
Wonder what the driver behind is thinking with the canon aimed straight at him.
"No, no, NO really... I'm flashing my high beams at you because your tail lights don't seem to be working..... Never, mind. I'll just make a lane change...." ;)

Nice find MarcP.
 
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