A couple of years ago, I was taking a road trip across the Cascades and I came upon a large dish alongside the road. It was a surprise and ended up being a blog post. I guess it is a little less spontaneous to search out a dish but, while I was over at Middle Wallop, meeting up with my friend Paul, I knew I was near the old airfield at Chilbolton. This had been an RAF base and then was used for test flying by Supermarine and Folland. What I didn’t know until I looked it up was that the airfield was taken over for use as a radio telescope after it closed to flight operations. I decided to swing by and see the dish. As I came over the hill, I could see it in the valley but the road was narrow and there was nowhere to stop. I got to the gate and a big sign advertised that random visitors were not welcome so I had to make do with a shot from the gate.
After leaving Brewster on my road trip, I was heading a short distance to the next town of Monse. A short unpaved road would take me there but along this road was something I had not expected. A bloody great deep space antenna was right next to the road. As I pulled up alongside it, there was a sign announcing that is was part of a large array of receivers around the world. The sign outside also asked you to turn off your cellphone if you entered since the signals could interfere with their reception. If I had known it was there and that you might be able to visit, I might have planned a stop but I had a full schedule ahead of me so I briefly paused before moving on.
Up on the hill behind the receiver was quite an array of antennas. A look on Google Maps suggests it is part of a cable company’s operation but it does look a little more complex than that. Maybe it does some secret squirrel stuff or maybe I am letting my imagination run away with me!
While I was staying in the same hotel as last time during my recent visit to Tokyo, I was on the opposite side of the hotel. This gave me a view across to a large radio mast a couple of kilometers north of Minato. In the early evening, the mast picked up the setting sun quite well. Once things had got dark, it was well illuminated and hard to miss!