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Natsios Young Architects


24 May 2002.

Anonymous writes:

The facility is actually the Sunnyvale Control Center where NRO birds were controlled, and there are similar facility in Pine Gap, Australia, Iceland, Turkey, etc. But THIS is the main facility, everything else is secondary. Once a NRO bird was launched THIS was one of major control points and tasking for the up-link to the bird. While the bird itself was in a low altitude flight path, communication was bounced off a high orbit satellite (or multiple satellites) and back to ground.  The control signalling and tasking worked the opposite way. Sunnyvale itself is a perfect place for an up-link, but a really bad place for a down-link. You need a Top Secret SI/TK clearance to get past the front door of the building. The NRO/USAF has run a classified school on at the facility for over 20 years, and NASA even has an office on site so the astronauts can receive NRO "space platform" training.

A. adds:

I did some research that I should have done beforehand. It all seems to point towards the station being related to the NRO and to the control of satellites. The installation is in fact the 21st Space Operations Squadron (21SOPS), located not on the grounds of Moffett Field, but on those of Onizuka Air Force Base. In fact, onizuka.af.mil is registered to "21SOPS/MA" at 1080 Lockheed Martin Way, Box 45, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. A document at

http://www.losangeles.af.mil/SMC/XR/CSOS/Documents/Industry%2520Day%2520Brief.pdf

under the heading of "Satellite Control: Commercial Synergies," connects 21SOPS to satellite control and the NRO: "Range/Comm segments, 21 Satellite Operations Squadron (SOPS), NRO Mission Control Center (MCC) operations primarily contractor operated." I wonder what "Range" means. In case that wan't enough, a document at

http://ax.losangeles.af.mil/axl/stab.xls

lists a "positional trainer" program for the "Distributed Communications Controller" (DCC). The DCC, probably a satellite control system, may be the same as the Cooperative Distributed Communications Controller (CDDC), an "Adaptive Intelligent Agent" originally developed by Planning Research Corporation (www.prc.com) before it was purchased by Northrop Grumman. The systems center in charge of the training is "SMC/CW," and the units involved include 21SOPS and NRO, as well as Remote Ground Stations (RGS) and Satellite Operations Centers (SOCS). The web site for SMC/CW seems to be at

http://cw.losangeles.af.mil

which says "Satellite (and Launch) Control System Program Office."

23 May 2002
Source: Mapquest.com

A. writes:

At the southeastern corner of Moffett Field, near the highway, there is a huge satellite dish, a few smaller ones, and a windowless sky-blue building.  Pretty much everyone who lives in the area knows about this spot.  The original purpose of this installation was to control NRO spy satellites, but I'm not sure if this is still their mission.  The huge dish has a spinning nose and, based on my conversations with some satellite engineers about this, is used for range-finding of satellites. Everything is controlled from the sky-blue box, which is operated by Lockheed-Martin.

National Reconnaissance Office website: http://www.nro.gov


Eyeballing
the
National
Reconnaissance
Office
Mission
Control
Center