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UER Mobile > US: Four Corners > NMSU Antenna Test Lab (Viewed 311 times)

post by NMPatriot   |  | 
NMSU Antenna Test Lab
< on 7/23/2023 9:45 PM >

This is my second stop of today and another location that I won't bother trying to obscure the location of. The facility has been abandoned for 30+ years and is well known to everyone in the area as it sits right beside a very popular hiking trail up Tortugas Mountain.

Officially called the "PSL/NMSU Antenna Range" in most government documents, the University's antenna lab was used in the 1960's for test and measurement of antenna designs. The site originally had five towers as seen in this diagram.

An antenna to be tested would be mounted on a rotating platform on the transmitting tower and receive antennas on the other towers would measure the antenna's radiation pattern. The only towers left that remain are the "MT" or Model Range Tower and the "NRT" or North Receiver Tower.

One of the tower's stairs have been removed, but oddly it's the tower with an intact security fence around it. The other tower, whose fence gate is completely missing, has intact stairs that can be climbed to the top.

When I visited today there was a local family hanging out around that tower trying to get photos of a pair of owls that are nesting up top. I didn't bother climbing the tower because I really didn't want to deal with a pair of pissed off owls.

All of the buildings on-site are open and covered in graffiti. I suspect that throughout the years this was probably used as a night time party spot by some of the university students and potentially by squatters / homeless.

When I first visited several years ago there was more random machinery laying around outside, but today the only piece of heavy equipment that remains is a small crane truck. Judging by it's looks it was probably used to haul antennas and other equipment around the site back in the 60's.

Overall it's kind of a cool site and is pretty easily accessible. I guess anyone's welcome to go check it out.. unless your name happens to be Marvin K Mooney..

On a more serious note.. if you do happen to visit and check the place out.. beware of open pits. There were tunnels running between the buildings for cabling and someone has since removed their concrete lids. The lids are nearby, but I wasn't about to throw my back out again on an exploration by trying to put them back on.

If anyone comes through the local area to check the place out and wants company.. hit me up.

NMPatriot (Ric)

[last edit 7/23/2023 9:46 PM by NMPatriot - edited 1 times]

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