This thing looks like it comes from Sci-Fi movies, or even straight out of Star Wars franchise. But it is not. What this building is and how is it being used we will see in this posting.
This thing is called DON-2 or “Pill Box” as NATO calls it. It’s a part of Moscow anti missile defence system.
What is it actually is a pyramid shaped unique radar system.
Inside this pyramid there are four unique active antennas built by Soviet engineers in early 1980s. It was a huge step up over normal “rotating” radars. They have a delay of one or two seconds needed for a full spin of an antenna. During this time enemy target can sneak unnoticed especially if it’s a high speed missile.
This radar is not rotating. Instead it has four huge antenna grids. Each consists of numerous smaller antennas. They all emit and receive signal at same time controlling one piece of sky without need of rotating. What differs them is a different phase of a wave. Before high speed computing era this technology was impossible.
For this purpose Soviet ELBRUS computers were used in 1980s. They still make a heart of this tracking system thirty something years later.
This is a workplace of Pill Box operators. In the middle is a chief of the station behind those ELBRUS monitors.
And this is a workplace of his assistants.
During a 1994 joint USA-Russian experiment when small metal spheres were dropped from Discovery shuttle it was discovered that Pill Box “sees” objects as small as 5 cm diameter metal sphere.
This station can detect and track up to 100 targets at same time and point intercept on ground missiles onto them.
In 1996 Soviet scientist Skloka received highest Russian state award “Hero of Russian Federation” for creating this technology.
You can’t take photos of the most displays as it’s top secret and they being turned off if someone without security clearance is inside.
Security is strictly controlled in this place.
The station is surrounded by “biological protection screen” from outside. It prevents animals and birds get roasted when all hundreds of microwave radars are firing off.
When needed station can launch intercept up to twenty missiles like this one on display.
Pill Box station is unique and has no analogs in the world. Most parts of it are top secret and rare journalists can get an access inside. It’s a big luck Russian blogger Russoss sneaked in and now we can share those photos with the world.