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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 15. August 4, 1971

Project Longbank

Project Longbank

Longbank is a USAF-manned electronic installation located on the RNZAF air field at Woodbourne near Blenheim. Operations commenced in 1962 and have continued since under strongly enforced secrecy precautions. In response to repeated newspaper questioning and demonstrations against the presence of the base, Longbank was briefly opened to reporters and students in January 1971. Equipment then being operated included:-
1.A VLF series direction-finding receiver.
2.A VLF receiver measuring phase and amplitude variation of transmitted signals.
3.A photometer and other optical sensors measuring air glow.
4.A HF receiver for reception of WWV. It is thought that this is for monitoring propagation instabilities rather than merely receiving of time signals.
5.A telluric current electrode array. The recording gear for this was not seen, but the array is visible on air photos.
6.A microbarograph for measuring short term air pressure variation. Official statements have never gone beyond saying that this station studies 'aero-space disturbances and their effects on radio communications' although the Prime Minister did once admit that the 'disturbances' might include nuclear explosions. (21/6/63). All the equipment known to operate at Longbank would be compatible with explanation that the base participates in the detection and identification of nuclear explosions in the earth's atmosphere and in space. This interpretation is fully developed and documented in a paper 'Report on USAF Base at Woodbourne' prepared for the N.Z. University Students Association. Copies are available.