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The asphalt landing strip is in Area 6 of the Yucca Flat test site, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northeast of the infamous Area 51 that has long been the subject of conspiracy theories. In Area 6, a handful of hangars with clamshell doors are clustered at one end of the airstrip
The area, which does not have a name, is fenced off and can be seen from the road by those touring the pockmarked Nevada National Security Site of Yucca Flat, where the military conducted hundreds of nuclear tests over several decades.
While little is known about Area 6, the Yucca Airstrip is used by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security
"They come here to test their own sensors"
Though officials with the government have been extremely reticent to reveal any details about the site, a few details have leaked out.
A 7,500-page tome on nuclear safety at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project includes a brief paragraph describing Area 6 as an "aerial operations facility."
“The purpose of this facility is to construct, operate, and test a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles. Tests include, but are not limited to, airframe modifications, sensor operation, and onboard computer development. A small, manned chase plane is used to track the unmanned aerial vehicles,” according to a 2008 report in the Yucca Mountain repository license application filed by government contractor Bechtel SAIC, which built the airstrip for $9.6 million.
The airspace above the strip is controlled, which reduces the risk of planes or satellites in space getting a detailed look at the surroundings. It also prevents the public from unintentionally stumbling upon the site
Based on its size, the hangars could house up to 15 MQ-9 Reaper planes, the type of drones used to perform reconnaissance...The runway is too small for fighter jets or bombers
Jeff - "funny how it looks like a masonic square and compass
According to a document filed by the giant multinational engineering corporation Bechtel, Area 6 is used to "construct, operate, and test a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles. Tests include, but are not limited to, airframe modifications, sensor operation, and onboard computer development. A small, manned chase plane is used to track the unmanned aerial vehicles."
The site is allegedly used to test sensors designed to detect nuclear radiation from both nuclear weapons and dirty bombs, as well as chemical weapons. An analyst from Globalsecurity.org told the paper that the Area 6 potentially could be used to test surveillance equipment, especially systems bound for desert environments such as Libya.