Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/06/17

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Subject: [Leica] UFO
From: reid at (Brian Reid)
Date: Thu Jun 17 14:04:36 2004
References: <25414659.1087504945405.JavaMail.www@wwinf3001>

> No major airports in the vicinity but you are absolutely correct.
> Closer inspection showed it to be the 'Property of Air Traffic Control 
> Systems'.

That's a VORTAC. A VORTAC is a VOR and a TACAN in the same building.

A VOR is a VHF Omnidirectional Ranging beacon.
VHF is the name of the radio frequency used.
Omnidirectional means it sends in all directions (that's why it has that 
ring of antennas around it).
Beacon means it sends to you, rather than you sending to it.

VORs send airplanes signals that the airplanes can use to navigate.

A TACAN is a TACtical Air Navigation station. It sends VOR-like signals on a 
different frequency, and responds to DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) 
probes from airplanes equipped with it. In other words, a DME-equipped 
airplane can hear a TACAN, send out a probe saying "How far away am I?" and 
get an answer back from the TACAN.

If I were a Very Bad Person and I wanted to make the world stop, I would 
coordinate the destruction of a bunch of VORTACS. Airplanes wouldn't be able 
to fly so well any more.

Replies: Reply from s.jessurun95 at (animal) ([Leica] UFO)
In reply to: Message from geebeephoto at (Graham Battison) ([Leica] UFO)