A new multi-million dollar radar laboratory near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, was officially opened recently by Prime Minister John G.
A new multi-million dollar radar laboratory near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, was officially opened recently by Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker. The project, a joint effort between the United States Air Force and the Defence Research Board of Canada, is manned by Defence Research Board scientists.
One of the most powerful stations in the western world, this new research facility will be used for investigations of the various factors that influence the radar detection of aircraft and missiles entering the auroral zone. The station is dominated by the giant 84 foot radar "dish" mounted on a tower, 125 feet above the ground. Inside the laboratory building is a maze of electronic equipment for transmitting, receiving and recording radar signals. Scientists know that the aurora borealis or northern lights are associated with radio disturbances and are seeking means of reducing their effects on detection equipment.
Prime Minister Diefenbaker arrived for the official opening ceremony accompanied by Dr. Hartley Zimmerman, Chairman of the Defence Research Board of Canada.
After an introduction by Dr. Zimmerman, the Prime Minister addressed the audience, which included Army and Air Force personnel, and scientists from Canada. and the United States. Mr. Diefenbaker unveiled the official plaque, and pressed a button to start the huge antenna turning. The saucer-shaped 84 foot diameter antenna has a high speed movement of 4 degrees per second inn any direction.
As part of thee opening ceremonies, the United States Air Force "twin" station at Millstone Hill, Massachusetts sent a message of congratulation from President Eisenhower, by bouncing it off the moon. In recent years, the possibility separated points on the earth has been explored. The transmission of President Eisenhower's congratulatory message was a practical demonstration of lunar relay voice communication.
The voice signal travelled from Millstone Hill to the moon and was reflected back to Prince Albert. Direct radio communication between Millstone and Prince Albert is impossible because the ultra-high frequency radio waves travel in a straight lane and do not follow the curvature of the earth between two ground stations so far apart -- Prince Albert is approximately 17000 miles from Millstone Hill.
Following the ceremonies, Prime Minister and Mrs. Diefenbaker, United States Ambassador R.B. Wiggles worth and the official party toured the laboratory, and had a look at the electron equipment in the transmitting and receiving rooms and the control room. A display of particular interest to the group was the "lunar message" display, with lights simulating a message travelling to the moon and back in 2 1/2 second.
The Prince Albert laboratory program will extend research collaboration with regard to continental ballistic missile defence that has existed between D.R.B. and the U.S.A.F. during the past few years.
The results of the research program are likely to provide A substantial contribution to the eventual development of a defensive system against the I.C.B.M.