Radioactive logo.gif ACE HIGH

By Andy Emmerson

Another researcher, Andrea Borgnino in Italy, is now creating a website devoted to this subject, which we await with interest. A link will be provided as soon at the site is ready. Below is just one of his finds:

Below are a series of photographs of Ace High and NATO tropo sites in Italy submitted by Andrea Borgnino. The sites illustrated are:

  • Belvedere: Martinafranca - Località Masseria - Chiantone - Puglia (south east Italy)
  • Veneti: Portogruaro - Veneto (north east Italy)
  • Monte Maniva - Lombardia (northern Italy)
  • Monte Nardello Location - Roccaforte del greco - Calabria (south west Italy)
  • Tolfa Ace High - 40km north of Rome

Some pictures were taken from The Sale of Defence Ministry Real-Estate website (now defunct) which was full of photos of ex-military bases.

Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image



Veneti tropscatter station

Maniva troposcatter station

Maniva troposcatter station


Tolfa transmitter

Tolfa transmitter room

Tolfa patch bay

Tolfa north antenna

Tolfa north antenna

Tolfa south antenna

Roger Camperi has written a very comprehensive description (in Italian) of the Italian Ace High station Dosso dei Galli . This presentation was compiled by Roger and edited by Gerrit Padberg, who have both given permission for the file to be hosted here. Gerrit adds that on 3rd February 2007 radio amateurs joined the ex-president of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, on a visit to the Ace High station Rome (ITLZ). This was a great opportunity to renew old friendships. It's clear that our Italian friends are actively interested in the history of Ace High, concludes Gerrit.

Another web site has views of the Ace High station at Monte Giogo.

Helmut Kämmerer in Germany has sent us a very comprehensive description (in German) of Ace High installations in Europe, consisting of a 40-page document and two collections of photos and maps . Although this information is in German, the photos and maps are self-explanatory. Non German-speaking readers can use Babelfish to translate.

He adds:

"Well, I am 63 years old and I was in the Army for 12 years, exactly from April 1964 until March 1976. The last years I was Platoonleader for a 120-Channel System which was connected to a FM 120/5000 Microwave System. Before I left the Service we received a mobile Scatter-System which was the real FM 120/5000 with an extra Power Station and 8 m Antenna. These system was working several years and then was cut off. Always the Power Station was working with real problems. So, later on these system was not longer in use.

"So I was the Platoonleader for the system behind the Microwave System to transport 120 channel voice and many channels tty over the Microwave 120/5000 from the middle of the west side of Germany up to the north and others. Sometime during exercises we had to make to main line through Germany to put on several strange units during BIF manoeuvres exercises over several weeks.

"I belonged to the Army Signal Corps. My rank was like you have a Flight Sergeant in the RAF. Well, I have still the names from the former RAF-Members which we had on Station Margival in France. So as I know they came from Buende/Westphalia and some came over from Rheindahlen/Germany. But I do not have information to there units. I have some pictures still here. The names are: Kenneth Styles, Ross Amison, Robert Clary, Dane Sutherland (Scottish), Roger E. Taylor (Tick as Nickname).

"Dane Sutherland came from the Highlands. He changed later on to the British Army and he was a Sergeant in a Anti Aircraft Unit. These Unit was around Wildenrath AB or Rheindahlen in use. Then these unit moved back to the middle part of England. Dane Sutherland was longer time in Cyprus. Ross Amison came from Stoke on Trent. Roger E. Taylor came from Derby."

So, if you are one of these people or know any of these names, Helmut would love to hear from you! Please contact him on his e-mail address of

Line-of-sight and tropospheric scatter

When you transmit a microwave radio signal using a directional aerial most of the energy travels in a straight line and if you arrange a receiving aerial at a suitable point along the radio path or 'beam', this is termed a line-of-sight transmission, since in all likelihood it is (more or less) possible to see one end of the route from the other. However, some of the radio wave propagates partly through the troposphere, where they are subject to refraction, scattering, and other phenomena. A common but highly significant form of tropospheric propagation is tropospheric scatter, sometimes called troposcatter. In fact, most VHF, UHF and microwave communication beyond the radio horizon out to about 300 miles is the result of signal scattering in the troposphere. One of the best features of troposcatter is that it is present most of the time, and it doesn't necessarily require special equipment – although high-gain directional antennas and high transmitter power are helpful.

Adapted from: Encyclopedia Britannica magazine article

North Atlantic Radio System: This site covers the North Atlantic troposcatter link from Greenland to Mormond Hill and Fylingdales. It's excellent and has links to other good sites.
NATO Ace High Station at Feldberg
Autovon at Martelsham Heath - Bunkertours web site

See also Subterranea Britannica web site Stenigot ACE HIGH and Chain Home radar station

[Source: Andy Emmerson]

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Last updated 29th January 2011

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