Alaska Test Range

The Alaska Test Range is located at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Poker Flat Research Range. 

Poker Flat Research Range is the world's only scientific rocket launching facility owned by a university. Poker Flat is operated by the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute under contract to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, which is part of the Goddard Space Flight Center. In addition to launching sounding rockets, Poker Flat is home to many scientific instruments designed to study the arctic atmosphere and ionosphere.

Poker Flat Research Range has five major launch pads. Pads 1 and 2 each have a 7.5K launcher, pads 3 and 4 each contain 20K MRL launchers, and pad 5 contains a 4K twinboom launcher. Pad 3 and 4 are equipped with moveable launcher enclosures which are used to protect rockets on these pads and the
workers from the severe winter weather.

The range facilities include an operations and office building, a 40 x 50 foot launch-control blockhouse complex, a 50 x 50 foot payload assembly building with a Class-100 cleanroom, a 285-foot instrumented meteorological tower, minicomputers to calculate wind weight parameters, and other buildings for rocket storage, assembly, and various operations and maintenance functions.

Range telemetry support is provided by three S-band auto-track systems, incorporating an 8-foot an 11-meter and a 16-foot dish, provided by NASA and located on Middle Range. PFRR also contains a C-Band NASA Radar for vehicle tracking, surveillance radar for local air traffic, and a meteorological balloon inflation building. Additionally, the range has Transportable Orbital Tracking System (TOTS), the Redstone Antenna, and PF1 (Datalynx) used primarily for satellite tracking.

Poker Flat is connected to the Geophysical Institute by means of a digital microwave system which has a 45 Mbit/s (DS3) capacity. The fully-redundant microwave system provides the data channels (including Internet access) and most of the telephone circuits used at PFRR. Poker Flat is also connected via fiber optic link to the Geophysical Institute.

The LIDAR Observatory hosts LIDAR experiments, and the T. Neil Davis Science Operations Center, which houses magnetometers, riometers, all-sky auroral cameras, a meridian-scanning photometer, a Fabry-Perot interferometer, and other observing instruments such as the low-light color television camera and video recorder for auroral research. Local tropospheric measurements are made at the Climate Change Monitoring station. Downrange observatories exist at Fort Yukon, Kotzebue, Kaktovik on the Arctic Ocean and Spitzbergen.