Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex
Florida annexes are located at Malabar and Jonathan-Dickinson State Park. The annex at the State park is referred to as the Jonathan-Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex (JDMTA). JDMTA is situated 95 miles south of the Cape near Jupiter, Florida. This state-of-the-art site includes four telemetry units, which provide in-flight monitoring of launch vehicles performance, electronics, and associated subsystems. The site also employs radar, flight test support systems, a microwave relay to the Cape, and a command destruct system remotely activated from the Cape if and when it becomes necessary to protect life and property should a launch vehicle veer off course.
Located 120 miles South of Patrick Air Force Base, about 15 miles North of West Palm Beach, Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex (JDMTA) is on 11 acres of land that was a part of the Jonathan Dickinson Florida state park. JDMTA was constructed during 1985-86 and was certified to provide launch support on Jan. 15, 1987. This permitted the Grand Bahama tracking station to be shut down permanently shortly thereafter. The Grand Bahama station had provided launch support from 1954 to 1987.
The Eastern Range has always needed a tracking station in a location that provides a radio signal path between ground station instrumentation and the launch vehicle that does not pass through the rocket exhaust plume. Some launch vehicles rocket exhaust attenuates radio signals that pass through the exhaust plume. This degrades Radar, Telemetry, and Command Destruct signals as "seen" by launch support instrumentation located in the launch area as the launch vehicle proceeds up and away from the launch area instrumentation.
In March 1996 Harris Corporation, Information Systems, Melbourne, Florida, was awarded a $21,137,503 face value increase to a cost plus award fee contract to provide for five 13 meter and one 16 meter satellite communication earth terminals, deletion of the existing earth terminals at Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex, Florida, and an upgraded microwave system and fiber optic cable link between Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex and Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida.
Close to 11,500 acres of land and river await the visitor to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Teeming with wildlife, the park offers camping, canoeing, hiking and bicycling, picnicking, fresh and saltwater fishing and guided tours of the Loxahatchee River. The Loxahatchee River, named a National Wild and Scenic River in 1985, winds its way through the park, passing under a canopy of centuries-old cypress trees. The river has a timeless beauty all its own, "possessing remarkable ecological and recreational values which are unique in the United States."