“Duga”, the Steel Giant Near Chernobyl

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When someone goes to Chernobyl he often misses one thing that could be of big interest and is located just a few miles away from the exploded nuclear power plant.
This one is one of the three alike built by Russian army in Russia during the iron curtain times. It was used for some of their military purposes but as you can see is abandoned now.

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66 thoughts on ““Duga”, the Steel Giant Near Chernobyl”

    • Interesting…
      We have several of these sites in North America for Over the Horizon radar from back in the Cold war Days as well…large antenna arrays…
      I noticed in the Comments that one is also in Niloleav, UKraine.. Been their ,many times.. the site in America is in a place in Northern Maine…and the name of the town.. is Moscow, Maine,… Believe it or Not! Cheers..mates…

  1. It is a giant heater coil in failed attempt to make Russia warmer. Chernobyl was simular, but was a practice in nuclear heating.

  2. From the two links mentioned above:

    “There were three of these huge arrays built, and they were used for spotting ICBM launches half a world away.” (in America I guess)

    “The Soviets built three systems, one located in each of Nikolayev in the Ukraine, Chernigov in the Ukraine, and Komsomolsk-na-Amure in Asiatic Russia.[…] For reference the scale of these arrays are massive – this one has a receiving array 450 feet (135 meters) high and 1000 ft (300 meters) long with a transmitting array is 280 feet (85 meters) high and 690 feet (210 meters) long.”

    Those bloody Americans. They created nice monuments of metal even without knowing it.

  3. I think this is why people started lining their hats with Aluminum foil.

    I have never found a single picture of the receiving antenna 60 km away, not even a description.

  4. Yep- it’s the woodpecker. Over the Horizon radar that sounded like a helicopter on shortwave. It could reach all the way around the planet.

  5. Definitely the Woodpecker.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Woodpecker

    The new system is now chirping at Lekhtus near St. Peterburg:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=60.276047,30.545597&spn=0.008213,0.018346

    http://russianforces.org/blog/2006/01/voronezhdm_radar_is_in_lekhtus.shtml

  6. It is a giant heater coil in failed attempt to make Russia warmer. Chernobyl was simular, but was a practice in nuclear heating.

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  8. Interesting, I remember hearing that thing back in the day. I’ve been in amateur radio since ’76, and the “woodpecker” was one of the stranger things on the airwaves. It is a phased-array of dipole antennas, a pair of the pointed basket things being one dipole. The framework behind them functioned as a reflector, making it very directional.

  9. Reminds me of something I tried in the 80’s at a local softball field. I used the backstop as a reflector and positioned a vertical in front at various locations to direct the beam. If the whole thing had rotated, I would have kept it as it had a rather high gain.
    I would love to visit this site. I wonder what the minimum loading input power would be. Would you charge each array with a separate amp? TV transmitters use separate amps for each element on the tower. Most have 3 separate amplifier circuits. The last one I worked at had 4. It had 4 separate amps each rated at 40,000 watts each that fed 4 elements on the top of the tower.
    This site is great. Thanks to whoever climbed up and got these photos. You are the bomb!!!!

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  11. Over 100 years ago, Nicola Tesla experimented with his method of wireless electrical power transmission in North America. His method involved circling the globe with a low frequency energy wave in the ionosphere that would race around the entire planet. When the mysterious woodpecker signal appeared in 1976, one of the speculations was that this signal came from an attempt to recreate Tesla’s experiments.

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  13. Ох люди… что ж вы потом думаете о русских, после всяких таких статей? 🙁

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    • I will visit the Chernobyl reactor and the area on May 21st 2009 . I would love to visit the Ruga-3 area also ( in the same trip, or return next day ? ) .

      Anybody in russia who can get permission and a driver out of Kiev ?

      Best, Eddy

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  16. Do you have any idea why the pieces of the attennae have such strange shapes ? Must have to do with some advanced electromagnetic theory. Actually a week ago I was in Odessa and on top of a buildig (a marine dept or something) I saw also a very strange-shaped antenna that also had these “pencil tip positioned against each other” thingies. Any idea ?

    • Could just be to do with its frequency range. To be honest, looking at the size of it, I’d guess it was HF. BUT. UHF aerials tend to come in the strangest shapes and sizes….

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  18. Been looking for this type of information. Everything I’ve read anywhere else hasn’t covered it very well, but your post did. Thanks…

  19. It’s a russian HAARP!
    The chernobyl-explosion happened because of this thing!
    Do your own research!

    Milton William Cooper R.I.P.

  20. It’s a russian HAARP!
    The chernobyl-explosion happened beacause of this thing!
    Why they needed so much energy? Think abaout it!
    Do your own research!

  21. it is an over the horizon radar system.a cold war relic. similar arrays were in north america. they are as i recall directional so it is aimed at where they thought a missile attack would come from.
    as other posters have noted, it interfered with sw
    very cool pictures. thanks

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  24. Re the question ‘why the shape of dipoles?’ —
    To broaden the frequency of resonance. If the same antenna were used as both transmitting and receiving, an incoming reflected wave might be several Hz higher due to doppler effect. If you wish to experiment, try using cones instead of straight dipoles. As for why rods in a cone shape think in terms of a 100-mph wind wrestling with a bedspring this size think of reducing that 100-mph effect by a third or more with a bundle of rods in cone shape instead of a solid cone or even ice-cream-cones of aluminum.

  25. Great…Just saw this radar in a Hollywood movie “Divergent” as a post apocalyptic set. Also was featured in a Ellie Goulding “Broken Heart” music video from the same movie.

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