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Chilbolton Observatory

Sat, 14/11/09 - 12:10 - admin

United Kingdom
51° 8' 41.8236" N, 51° 8' 41.8236" E



Field Notes

Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research is one of the worlds most advanced meteorological radar experimental facilities, and is home to the worlds largest fully steerable meteorological radar, the Chilbolton Advanced Meteorological Radar (CAMRa). In addition to ongoing research programmes in meteorology and radio propagation, Chilbolton Observatory frequently hosts visiting experiments and research teams from universities and other research organisations, both from the UK and abroad.

This site is based on the former Chilbolton airfield, opened in September 1940 as a satellite of RAF Middle Wallop and was used as a relief landing ground for Hurricane squadron, No. 238. It was developed piecemeal with the addition of the necessary facilities that gradually took it towards existence as an independent base. Like many other airfields in the area once the threat of invasion had passed and the major Luftwaffe raids ceased, Chilbolton played host to Army Co-operation Command units. Wikipedia Source.

Access to the site is from a track road with a few bungalows, that might be private, but no signs were noted. The entrance is clearly marked (above) and here the road is definitely private. A good view of the site is possible without entering onto the grounds. Research visit was not quiet, a couple walking their dog stopped for chat first. We discussed new plans to expand the remit of the field. Apparently a large derigiable had also been located at the site over the previous weeks. Potentially Meteorological in nature, the story reminded me of what Mike Kenner had said about instructions given to Porton Down employees conducting Biochemical warfare research in the field. Their cover story if stopped or questioned was 'weather' research. Before this visit was finished, more visitors driving a car hire briefly arrived, took photographs and left. They spoke Russian. Just like the good old days!