posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 09:45 AM
reply to post by Tiloke
Tiloke has it dead on--the pylons are target supports for RCS measurements. A51 has an outdoor RCS range from OXCART days, but these are not pics from
there. The A51 range does not have a low-RCS pylon like these. These pics are from Helendale, Tejon, NRTF, etc.
The seed-shaped object was used for measurements at Lockheed's RCS range at Helendale, then got dumped out behind a building at Palmdale, which is
where Archarya's pic is from. But every RCS range uses something similar. In doing RCS measurements, it's important to know how much of what you
"see" is from your test article and how much is from the RCS range itself: the pylon, ground reflection, instrumentation error, etc. So engineers
spend a lot of time measuring the range itself, with no stealth fighters, alien spaceships, whatever. And that's what the "seed" was for. The top
of the pylon has a rotator, lots of cables, and other things which reflect a huge amount of energy back to the radar. So if you want to measure the
pylon with 'nothing' on top of it, you need to cover all these un-stealthy things with something that is, ideally, perfectly stealthy. The shape and
the surface treatment of Lockheed's "seed" did a very good job of looking like nothing. Kind of a boring answer, I guess, unless you're really
into RCS ranges...