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From Sandia Lab News, July 26, 1991:

Roving Testers operate from Albuquerque

One division within Tonopah Test Range Dept. 7510 does work similar to that of the rest of the department, but with a difference – it operates from Albuquerque.

Mobile and Remote Ranges Div. 7515 includes people of whom 7510 Manager Ron Bentley says, “They may be anywhere, next week or tomorrow.”

Supervisor Wayne Lathrop explains: “We support Sandia testing at ranges throughout the country and if necessary, at remote sites where there isn’t a range. We have 10 trailers and vans, each of which is a complete telemetry ground station that can receive and record data and do some analysis in the field for a quick look at how the test is going.

“In addition to our instrumentation systems, we have considerable inventory of general field equipment that can be deployed to provide test support at remote sites. That includes portable generators, communication equipment, tracking antennas, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and work trailers.

“But our biggest asset,” Wayne continues, “is a multi-talented group of field testers who get a real kick out of setting up a remote test site and displaying the Sandia thunderbird at some new location. We sometimes have trouble even keeping our secretary at home.”

A Twin Otter research aircraft is also operated by the division, in conjunction with Ross Aviation. This plane can be configured to perform system demonstration, air sampling, or airborne telemetry receiving, recording or re-radiation (relay of the signal to another receiver). It has been used as a drop aircraft for test operations.

The division has permanent facilities at several major test sites, including White Sands, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Edwards AFB, and Cape Canaveral. But past work called division members to decidedly non-permanent locations such as the arctic, naval ships at sea, beaches at Ft. Lauderdale, mountain tops in Hawaii, and to many other field sites around the world.

Division employees also sometimes join forces with their Tonopah colleagues, sharing both people and equipment when needed to support a test.

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