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Etcheron Valley Junction Ranch Range

The Etcheron Valley Junction Ranch Range is the Navy's premier outdoor RDT&E antenna characterization, GPS antenna test/jamming Range, HPM/Transient Electromagnetic, and RCS/radar signature test facility. Etcheron Valley Junction Ranch Open Air Range (JROAR) is run by a small team of experts with vast experience in radar cross section (RCS) testing. The facility provides the instrumentation suite, test coordination, targets, and support functions for a wide range of tests. This team provides outdoor range testing at costs commensurate with low cost indoor RCS facilities, when compared on a plot-by-plot basis.

The Junction Ranch Outdoor High Power Microwave/Transient Electromagnetic Test Facility supports High Power Microwave Open Air Range (OAR) testing.

The Junction Ranch RCS Facility is located in a valley on the west side of the Argus Mountain range, about 2 miles southwest of Maturango Peak in the far northeastern portion of the China Lake Naval Weapons Center. Junction Ranch is an outdoor research facility for radar-cross-section (RCS) testing, high-power microwave (HPM) measurements, and Global Positioning System (GPS) jamming tests. This facility provides the instrumentation suite, test coordination, targets, facilities, and support functions for a wide range of tests involving ground vehicles or full-scale aircraft. The 65-square-mile facility offers excellent air and ground security because of its isolated location, rugged terrain, restricted airspace, and controlled borders and ground space. Remoteness offers a quiet environment free from electromagnetic interference (EMI). The surrounding mountains and valley floor are primarily volcanic in nature with extremely high iron content. This provides high level of RF shielding for incoming and outgoing signals, and allows radiation at all frequencies at very high power levels.

Remoteness offers a quiet environment free from electromagnetic interference (EMI). Frequency range coverage runs from 30 Mhz to 18 Ghz with a spot frequency at 34 Mhz to 36 Mhz. Each site has a 30-foot-diameter turntable capable of holding targets up to 10,000 pounds. Targets may be rotated 360 degrees to expose all aspects to the radar. Both facilities have multifrequency radars that produce a wide range of RF band, pulse-repetition-frequency, and pulse-width combinations. Step-chirp waveforms can be used to provide high range resolution and inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging. At the Look-Down Range the radar looks down on the target from a range of 17,000 feet at an angle of 10 degrees.

Two special-purpose target test beds make this facility unique. The wet site, a 78- by 100-foot pond, creates a simulated sea environment used to investigate background clutter and target-to-surface interactions. The tilt deck is a 80- by 140-foot hydraulically-controlled platform enabling target presentations of 5 to 32 degrees in elevation. The radar can make chirp and single frequency measurements using fast pulse-to-pulse frequency switching, and it operates in the S, X, Ku, and Ka bands.

US weapons systems are becoming more complex via advanced computer based technologies. For example, the use of computer-based lightweight systems must be protected from the threat of "soft" or partial kills. The harshest known environments today are created by the Navy's aircraft carrier deck, hostile termination end game, and some aircraft radars; accordingly, military systems are required to undergo an Electromagnetic Environmental Effects test process. In addition, Joint Live Fire Test and Evaluation (JLFT&E) is required to satisfy today's mandates for realistic survivability testing.

High Power Transient Electromagnetics (HPTE) is a revolutionary threat - a Directed Energy Weapon or Radio Frequency Weapon. Transient Electromagnetic Device (TED) has demonstrated peak power levels up to hundreds of terawatts, with repetition rates up to 1,000 pulses per second. Because of these extremely high physical parameters, Etcheron Valley Junction Ranch was selected as the perfect testing site.


  • Develops state-of-the-art capabilities in radar, software, and VLO target supports.
  • Radar-cross-section testing.
  • High-power microwave (HPM) and High Power Transient Electromagnetic (HPTE) measurements.
  • Primary Outdoor Antenna Test Range Agency for NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) Joint Program Office (JPO).
  • Global Positioning System jamming.
  • Antennae pattern measurements.
  • Wide range of RF band, pulse repetition frequency, and pulse width combinations.
  • Allows low-frequency testing in a highly secure and RF-interference-free environment.
  • RCS measurements have been taken at 40 MHz.
  • Both sites have a 30-foot turntable rated at 10,000 pounds and 50,000 pounds. Rotatable at 360 degrees.
  • GPS Antenna Test Arena, 100 foot diameter with perimeter antenna masts every 45 degrees.
  • Mobile Doppler radar for plume measurements capabilities.
  • Step-chirp waveforms provide high-range resolution and inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging.
  • Bistatic RCS measurement capability.

Four Major Areas of Testing

  • RCS.
  • High Power Transient Electromagnetic Testing (HPTET).
  • Antenna Pattern Measurement (APM).
  • GPS jamming (up to 500 W) and GPS antenna characterization Simultaneous testing: RCS testing is conducted at night and HPTET, APM, and GPS testing is conducted during the daytime.

Radar Cross Section (RCS) Bounce Strip Range

  • Range tilted skyward, minimizing Nth time around clutter
  • Pylon pits: 700, 2,000, and 4,000 feet
  • Performs coherent bistatic measurements
  • Features a 40-foot high, low-backscatter stationary pylon
  • Holds targets up to 6,000 pounds
  • Test formats: global, imaging, swept frequency, pen plots - medians, cumulative probability, and polar/rectilinear RCS
  • Radar capabilities: HF (special set-up), VHF, UHF, L,S, C, X Ku, Ka,and W bands

100-Ton Turntable

  • Currently installing a high capacity turntable for use in live-fire HPTET on full-scale military platforms, including aircraft and ground vehicles
  • 48-foot rated at 200,000 pounds, 75,000 pounds at 11-degree tilt

South Forty

  • 10,000-pound Az/El rotator
  • 50,000-pound Az rotator
  • 5,000-, 2,500-, 500-pound pylon rotator
  • Four transportable towers, 100 feet tall, boom elevation selectable, 4,000-pound Az/El positioner
  • Steel turntable, 30-foot diameter
  • Two 60- by 60-foot barns
  • Generator and solar power
  • Ringed mountains provide EMI shielding

Look-Down Range (Parrot Peak)

  • The radar looks down on the target from a range of 17,000 feet at an angle of 10 degrees
  • Two special-purpose target test beds make this facility unique.
  • Wet Site, 78- by 100-foot salt-water pond provides a simulated sea-surface. The wet site creates a simulated sea environment used to investigate background clutter and target-to-surface interactions.
  • Vehicle/background and target-to-surface interactions, 10 degrees.
  • Tilt-deck, 80- by 140-foot hydraulically controlled platform.
  • Target presentation of 5 to 32 degrees.
  • Radar capabilities: S, X, Ku, Ka, and W bands.


  • Provides precision outdoor RCS measurements of models and real targets
  • Air, ground, and sea vehicles
  • Very Low Observables (VLOs)
  • Ship models and components
  • Missiles
  • Tactical ballistic missiles
  • Reentry vehicles
  • Ground vehicles
  • Plume measurement

High Power Transient Electromagnetic Testing (HPTET)

  • Configurable High Power Transient Electromagnetic (HPTE) RF source for live fire test and evaluation survivability testing
  • Provides vulnerability and susceptibility assessments to: DoD weapon systems; DoD information infrastructure; and National infrastructure

High Power Transient Electromagnetic Device (HPTED)

  • Far field figure of merit: > 650 KVm
  • Computer controlled repetition rate: single shot to 1KHz
  • Rise time < 200 ps

Antenna Pattern Measurement (APM)

  • China Lake designated as the primary outdoor antenna test range for GPS antenna testing
  • Facility designed to provide multiple GPS jammer threats and countermeasure devices
  • Accommodate frequencies from 400 MHz to 18 GHz
  • 30,000-pound, 3-axis Scientific Atlanta positioner
  • Supports antennas to 10 meters in diameter
  • 2,500-pound, 3-axis Scientific Atlanta positioner
  • All necessary SA and HP data collection, plot generating instrumentation

GPS Antenna Range

  • Full suite of GPS jammers
  • L1/L2 operations
  • BB, NB, CW, swept, and pulse jammers
  • Circular and linear antenna polarizations
  • Variable emitter elevations
  • Configurable emitter azimuths
  • Provisions for testing against air and ground jammers
  • Currently approved for six 1-W GPS jammer operations, 0800 to 1500

High Power GPS Jamming

  • GPS jamming (up to 500 W) and GPS antenna characterization
  • Two high power GPS jamming vans
  • System power: 3.5-kW or 30-kW ERP continuous
  • Jamming bands: L1 and L2 independent
  • Beamwidth: 30 degrees or 8 degrees
  • Polarization: circular
  • Jamming types: CW, broadband, narrowband, and pulse


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