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Operation CASTLE's 15 MT Bravo early fireball with Compton Effect lightning, March 1, 1954

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

VELA UNIFORM playtime with very low resolution source

VELA UNIFORM Participation in Operation NOUGAT and GNOME (1962)

This was an emergency response to the Soviets resuming nuclear testing after the revelation that U-2 spy planes exposed the significant strategic gap in Soviet nuclear missile development. Under way within 2 weeks of the Soviet resumption, these operations were a large mix of expert academics, industry, seismic monitoring organizations, the military, and the Atomic Energy Commission (now the Department of Energy). VELA UNIFORM set to develop means of detecting, identifying, and locating underground nuclear explosives after the looming (atmospheric) Limited Test Ban Treaty took effect by 1963. VELA UNIFORM was the technical working to build on enforcement of future international testing requirements.

The VELA program also had complementary components for detecting, identifying, and locating nuclear tests:

VELA SIERRA, for atmospheric nuclear explosives
VELA HOTEL, detection from space

Here is the original, low resolution source from YouTube:

Mobile users: Refresh page to replay the film

Random scene frame comparisons:





 Instrument trailers are essential data recording platforms for scientific analysis of each test.


 Cameras mounted inside a truck:




The Project GNOME water tank and ground shock spring instrument wall are seen to the upper right:


Ground zero at the GNOME site near Carlsbad, New Mexico:


A camera was mounted in shock-resistant device when the ground violently heaved up from below, as the ball measured the displacement:




Project GNOME

Data capture trailer at GNOME:

Seismometers near ground zero, with signal recordings, required batteries to operate. Using commercial power could be disastrous because of the huge electrical surges that would be generated in long wires by the electromagnetic pulse, even with underground shots. Pulses like these could damage commercial power supplies over a vast area.



Ground shock gauge:


Electromagnetic pulse effects antennas:


Loop antenna resonance optimizes as the antenna loop circumference reaches one wavelength of the source electromagnetic signal.


Oscilloscopes capture weapons signal events in microseconds


Typical nuclear shots involved dozens if not hundreds of individual experiments:


A Chevrolet 3600 pickup truck? The 3600 series sold from 1952 to 1962:




Still photography of ground shock displacement effects was integral with data collection:


This test left a visible subsidence crater:


Control Point


The brown shirt above needs work.


Countown ....


Shuron Ronsir Zyl ebony frame eyeglasses were among the most iconic designs of the 1960s, dating back to their 1947 development:


Seven seconds before the 104 kiloton Sedan thermonuclear device fired:


Oak Spring Butte loomed in the distance, behind Sedan, viewed from southwest to northeast on Yucca Flat:


Sedan ended in a crater is 100 m (330 ft) deep and a diameter of about 390 m (1,280 ft):