George M (N2XM)'S DGPS IMAGES

~~ GALLERY ONE ~~

DGPS TX ID 8 Sandy Hook (NJ), is located within the US Coast Guard section of the Fort Hancock Historic District on Sandy Hook, NJ, a barrier beach at the extreme north end of the New Jersey Atlantic Ocean coast line. Fortified during the War of 1812, Fort Hancock was built to guard the entrance to New York Harbor. Retired from military service in 1974, the District has been added to the US Park Service's Gateway National Recreational Area, a 26,000 acreage assembly of city parks, military sites removed from service, and undeveloped land.

Access to the US Coast Guard enclave is restricted. After explaining the purpose of my visit and agreeing that my photographing the DGPS facility was of no security concern and of legitimate public interest, the interviewing officer not only permitted my entrance but commandeered a "beach buggy" and kindly chauffeured me to the (very distant) antenna site. Along the way he pointed out various area in which the storm surge from "super" Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 had permanently changed the topography of the barrier beach. Mine was an exceedingly pleasant and informative visit.

New York Harbor and in particular the Sandy Hook area was immersed in a heavy fog in the morning of my visit. Hence the some of the pictures taken early during my visit have a hazy cast. By late morning the sun had burned off the fog and later pictures were not affected.

Also included among these pictures are those of another facility in the Fort Hancock site - the Guardian Park with its memorial to six US Army servicemen and four Army Ordnance Corp civilian who perished in a horrific accident in 1958 at the Nike Ajax Antiaircraft Missile Site located on the Fort's grounds.

NOTE# - All of the following pictures are copyright 'George M N2XM', and should not be re-produced with out first obtaining his permission - please ask us for his contact details if you should require them.


Sandy Hook DGPS Beacon, NJ:
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Sandy Hook DGPS BeaconSandy Hook DGPS, NJ:

Entrance to the US Coast Guard Facilities Sandy Hook NJ. The hazy cast to the picture is due to a heavy fog which did not burn off until late morning. (174.0kb)
Sandy Hook DGPS BeaconSandy Hook DGPS, NJ:

View of the DGPS receiving antennas. ID #804 is on a tower of the left behind the building. ID# 805 is on the tower to the right. (233.0kb)
Sandy Hook DGPS BeaconSandy Hook DGPS, NJ:

View of the back-up receiving antenna ID#805. (287.0kb)
Sandy Hook DGPS BeaconSandy Hook DGPS, NJ:

View of the DGPS transmitter tower operating at 286 kHz with 200 watts (nominal) output. Note that the top-most supporting guy lines supply additional capacitive loading courtesy of the insulators half way down their lines. (103.0kb)
Sandy Hook DGPS BeaconSandy Hook DGPS, NJ:

An X-band Slotted Antenna used by the Coast Guard to monitor ship traffic in New York Harbor. It is located within a few hundred yards north of the DGPS receiving antennas. (129.0kb)
Sandy Hook DGPS BeaconSandy Hook DGPS, NJ:

View of the present Lighthouse and associated Keepers Quarters. Originally constructed in 1764 on the tip of Sandy Hook, the lighthouse was later reconstructed 1.5 miles south to its present location. It is the oldest continuous operating lighthouse in the US. The Keepers Quarters were later added in 1883. This picture was taken in late morning after the fog had burned off and hence does not have a hazy cast. (Compare next picture.) (201.0kb)
Sandy Hook DGPS BeaconSandy Hook DGPS, NJ:

When this picture was taken in early morning, fog bedecked the lighthouse which, as is seen, is in operation. Focused by 3rd order Fresnel lens, the 1 kW light emits 45,000 candle-power and is visible 19 miles at sea on clear evenings, the distance being limited by the curvature of the earth. The lighthouse lamp is now maintained by the US Park Service and the Keepers Quarters serve as the Fort Hancock Visitor Center. The fort itself was retired from military use in 1974. (110.0kb)

Nike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook NJ:

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NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

Sign marking the entrance to The Guardian Memorial Park and the now deactivated Nike Ajax/Hercules Missile Site. This was among the first missile sites setup (1954) in the US during the cold-war era. It served to guard the approach to the New York-Philadelphia corridor. Guided tours of the missile site are available to the public on selected dates during the summer and fall seasons. (150.0kb)
NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

The Memorial Park. The two small replicas of Nike Missiles on far left in this picture surround the granite memorial to the six US Army servicemen and four Army Ordnance civilians who died in the horrific accident at this Missile Site. On 22 May 1958 an accident in the missile launch area caused eight missiles to detonate. The shrapnel rained down on a residential area of five-mile radius. The accident's cause was never unequivocally determined but evidence pointed to a mishap in the fueling of the liquid propellant in the Ajax's final stage rocket ... always a hazardous operation. (146.0kb)
NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

Granite Memorial to the ten who perished. (225.0kb)
NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

View of a Nike Hercules missile on its mobile launcher. This missile, which could be armed with either conventional or nuclear explosives, had a range of about 75 miles and could reach an altitude of 150,000 feet. For both its final and multiple booster stages, the Hercules missile used packaged solid fuel rockets. For convenient year-round visitor viewing, this particular missile and its Nike Ajax relative (next picture) are set up along the road to the entrance of the Memorial Park. If in service the missiles would have been awaiting their call in an underground bunker system a mile or so distant. The buildings in the background are the barracks and mess facilities of the 100 or so men stationed on the site, in this instance, Battery B of the 526th Missile Battalion, US Army Antiaircraft Command. (170.0kb)
NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

View of a Nike Ajax missile on its mobile launching platform again located for visitor viewing convenience along the road to the Memorial Park. With a range of about 25-30 miles and an altitude limit of about 70,000 feet, it used a solid propellant for it single booster rocket but the final stage rocket was fueled by ordinary JP4 jet fuel with fuming nitric acid as the oxidizer. Fueling and deactivating this rocket was always a hazardous operation, very much so when compared to that of the Hercules which used solid propellant fuel. (13.0kb)
NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

The X-band Target Tracking Radar antenna, the first of three radar assemblies constituting a Nike System. Beneath the fiberglass protective cover is a Fresnel lens antenna capable of radiating 250 kW of magnetron generated power. The buildings seen in the background house the battalion's Command and Control section. (174.0kb)
NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

The second antenna in the Nike System is the Missile Control Radar. In its essentials it is identical to the Target Tracking Radar but contains additional electronics to control and redirect the missile in flight. (241.0kb)
NikeNike Ajax Missile Site - Sandy Hook, NJ:

The empty platform seen here would have mounted an S-Band Target Acquisition Antenna, the third of the three radar antennas of the Nike system. The antenna, covered by a 10 foot long cylindrical fiber glass shield, was an ingenious variation on the cylindrical parabolic type. It incorporated a set of insertable rods to enable its radiation pattern to be changed as desired - either a pencil-shaped beam to detect low flying aircraft or a cosecant-squared beam to detect high flying aircraft. The transmitter, frequency agile to minimize possible jamming, could output 1000 kW pulses. (356.0kb)




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We're very grateful to George for sharing these GPS images with us, and if you have shots of your own that you would also like to see on display here in the DGPS Photo Gallery, we would love to hear from you too.



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