Northrop Tejon Ranch Radar Cross Section Facility, California

This is one of two outdoor radar test ranges operated by aerospace companies in the Antelope Valley. This secure facility is operated by Northrop Grumman and was built in the mid 1980's to pursue the development of Stealth technologies (Lockheed-Martin operates a facility near Helendale, and there is another one near El Mirage Dry Lake, built by McDonnell Douglas, and sold recently to General Atomics, which converted it to a UAV site). The ranges are used to test aeroforms (shapes to be incorporated into aerodynamic vehicles) for their radar reflectivity. At one end of the range is an array of radio and radar dishes used to measure the profile of the shape, which is mounted several hundred yards down the range on a triangular pedestal. At this range, as at the Helendale facility, the aeroform and the pedestal, estimated to be about 50 feet high, rise out of the ground hydraulically, indicating elaborate underground facilities.