Not far from the Anadyr city, about 10 km, at the top of the hill of St. Michael there is a nodal tropospheric station called “Yukon” (8/104 (21/103) M/u – 74239), which is a part of the “North” communication system and a local civil telecentre. As a mobile and satellite communications are developing, the need of having such an expensive object has gone, and in 2003 the station was finally closed. Telecentre was luckier and stood in a good condition for ten years more. There is no former luxury, but the remnants are still there, far away, attracting both local people and tourists. We also could not resist and went there.
2. Our station looked like this in 1975, for example. Photo was taken from here. Its geographical coordinates: 64.733 nl 177.383 el.
3. I took this photo last year, when we were looking for the most terrible Gulag in Chukotka under Pevek. And that is a similar tropospheric radio relay station called “Granat”
4. It was originally planned that the stations of this type will be under the service of civic communicators, but the reality was different. Because of the bad household, climatic and environmental conditions in which the objects were located, these stations were transferred to the military. Our tropospheric radio relay station 8/104, call sign of which is “Yukon”, was served by the military unit № 74239. In 1993 it was disbanded, and “Yukon” station became the part of the state of m/u number 51470 (“Yukon-1”) as its operational department. But as I said above, the relevance of its work has disappeared, and it was closed in 2003. People were released but all equipment was abandoned, as it has always been in similar situations, and so it collapses. For example, two years ago, the main structure was still standing but could have collapsed at any moment, now these mountains of scrap metal just lie there. But there are a lot of thorns.
Our country is really large, and the necessity of a quick delivery of strategic information has always been relevant. There is a bad climate on the North, and also there is permafrost, and the distances are really large, so the routing of cable lines was just unreal. Satellites were the things they could just dream about, and then scientists have developed a “North” tropospheric radio relay communication system (TRRC “North”).
So, how the “North” TRRC looked like. Firstly, it consisted of 46 tropospheric radio relay stations (TRRC) of similar type, that were located mostly along the coast of the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as along the largest Siberian rivers of Ob, Yenisei and Lena. The whole line was 13,200 kilometers in length. It was built in the late 60s, and it had to provide a communication between the military and the population of the Far North and the Far East, it is a really large territory, almost 60% of the entire country. The system consisted of 7 lines and had 2 nodes which controlled other centers and stations. It was a network of relay stations that stood in the distance of 120-450 km from each other, being autonomous military camps, which provided energy, heat, and other necessary operating conditions, as well as life support and delivery of necessary goods itself.
The principle of functioning of the tropospheric radio relay system consists in the radio waves that are reflected from the upper layers of the atmosphere (at a height of 10-12 km). So it is possible to create a radio relay lines with the distance of 250 – 300 km between stations, and if these stations are based really high, the distance could be up to 400 – 450 km.
West node of system was called “Virage” until 1977, and later it was renamed as “Patriot – 2”. Firstly it was placed in Vorkuta, but after 2001, when some of the stations were closed it was transferred to Norilsk. The node consisted of 3 centers: “Luch-1” (“Neva” – in the past), “Patriot-1” and “Canva-1” (“Ob” in the past, operating department), which controlled 20 stations.
East node called “Dragon 2” was firstly based on the Kolyma highway (4 km), and then was moved to Magadan. It consisted of three centers and controlled 26 stations. “Amur-1”, “Yukon-1” and “Dragon-1” centers.
Seven lines had their designations and linked key strategic points:
• TRRC-60 Serov – Vorkuta (6 stations);
• TRRC-101 Krasnoyarsk – Norilsk (6 stations);
• TRRC-102 Yakutsk – Tiksi (5 stations);
• TRRC-103 Vorkuta – Anadyr (19 stations);
• TRRC-104A Magadan – Yakutsk (5 stations);
• TRRC-104 Magadan – Anadyr (8 stations);
• TRRC-3500 Arkhangelsk – Olenegorsk (3 stations).
Our tropospheric system was a part of Anadyr center of “Yukon-1”, which controlled 8 stations, “Yantar”, “Crystal”, “Granat”, “Redyktor”, “Agat”, “Kazan”, “Orel” and “Gorkiy “.
9. “Yukon” station was a node and connected three lines – to Magadan, to the Bering Strait and to the coast of the Laptev Sea. It worked on the following lines: Rassvet village, “Gorkiy” – 246 km in the west, Uelkal village in the north “Kazan” and Sireniki village in the east “Eagle” – 414 km. Two circular antenna – it is a tropospheric line “Yukon” – Beringovsky village.
10. There was a telecentre in this building
11. The remains of tropospheric radio relay station R-410 “Atlet”.
12. As we can see everything is broken there
15. All valuable things are already stolen, and the rest of the stuff waits for changes.
The designing of tropospheric communication lines had a number of strong qualities. Firstly, the distance between stations may reach 400-600 kilometers and they don’t need to be in the line of sight. Secondly, the construction of these lines did not require cable routing and other communication structures between stations. Thirdly, the communication was a multi-channel (“Horizon-M”, which was developed in the 50s, consisted of 60 channels). But there were some disadvantages. Tropospheric connection could not be really reliable as there was a significant weakening of the signal. In addition, it was difficult to adjust a correct positioning of receiving antennas and as a result the transmitted signal could significantly shift depending on the condition of the troposphere.
21. In the winter they are trying to make a ski resort there
22. In recent years it has become a trend to build crosses on the highest points even in the most remote corners of our country, and now it has appeared there. I hope that this will be not only a decoration, and would send a signal to the new good changes.
23. And in the distance you can see the Anadyr. Well, actually, we should go further, to be continued …
Thanks to “VIM-Avia” airlines for bringing us here, and organizing everything!