Planet Fox > Microwaves > Interesting Micorwave Antennas in the Wild > Jesus' Golfball

Jesus' Golfball

Mystery radome

What you're looking at is a spherical "radome", which is an engineering term for any kind of a structure that covers all or part of antenna to protect it from wind, rain, etc... Unfortunately, it also obscures what's inside. This spherical type of radome is pretty typical of what you would use to cover a ground-based motorized antenna like the kind used for radar. Radomes like this are usually made from a strong and lightweight fabric like teglar, nylon, dacron, etc... or fiberglass impregnated with a waterproofing resin. I can't get close enough to tell for sure, but this one looks like it's made of molded fiberglass panels.

I can only guess what's inside. It's not very big; from my estimate the outside diameter of the radome is about 10-15 meters (40 feet). It's been there for as long as I can remember, so it's been there since at least the late 80's. It looks similar and is roughly the same size as the radomes used for the WSR-57 and WSR-74 weather radar operated by NOAA from the 50's through the 90's, but as far as I know there were only two WSR-74 stations in WV, a C-band radar in Beckley and an S-band unit in Charleston. This one is located right next to both the NASA IV&V facility and the massive NEXRAD weather radar dishes in Fairmont that I photographed on the same day.

If you know what this is and/or can get me some pictures of the interior, let me know and I will be forever grateful, since this thing was one of the things that got me interested in radio science in the first place.

Map Coordinates:

39.433076° N 80.197795° W

Street Address:

99 Seastar Ln.
Fairmont WV

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