How the FCC tracks radio signals

Ringway Manchester does a great job of explaining how, since the dawn of broadcasting, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has been tracking radio transmissions by using direction-finding installations in remote, rural areas.

Many employ a unique antenna known as a Wullenweber array that looks sort of like a wireframe Stonehenge. Viewed from above, some of these circular setups could pass for center-pivot irrigation systems.

5 thoughts on “How the FCC tracks radio signals

  1. At 6:23 he mentions an array at Kenai, Alaska. But he couldn’t find it!

    Mount Diablo’s Amateur Radio Club lists it as
    60°43′26.0″ N. Latitude, 151°20′15.0″ W. Longitude

    And at 11:30 he couldn’t find Waipahu, Hawaii
    21°22′33.6″ N. Latitude, 157°59′44.1″ W. Longitude

    There’s something so fascinating about these stations being able to monitor the local radio waves for illegal usage.

    Their remote location where someone’s just is just to monitor the airwaves? What is that job like? Adding to the strangeness of all this is how all these arrays look like a modern Stonehenge. Some falling apart like Stonehenge, but still visible. Others not even to be seen at all.

    A little bit of insight into the jobs of the people is in this 1992 Popular Communications magazine.

    Maybe I missed it in the video. But what distance can these monitoring stations observe?

    Liked by 1 person

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