618 Davis Drive,  Mt. Vernon, IN  47620
   812-838-3120
Status Report:
2014:  The First Year
             
                      
       

Fran Ridge
February 19, 2015

In a crash program to continue and duplicate the efforts of MADAR which recorded 26 events in as many years beginning in 1970, in six short weeks, on February 19th, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. MADAR (II) was operational. This time the main sensor was under 24-hour surveillance (Camera 3). Seven days later the DCS-800 Flux Compass was "online" and on Camera 4 position. On the 28th the TES 1392 meter monitoring E-M readings in microtesla, previously on standby mode only, was on Camera 2. Within a few months a number of changes were made and equipment added, but for all practical purposes we were up and running like never before.  On June 25th local and regional police, sheriff, state police, and control tower were contacted. With a significant upgrade to the system on June 12th, we went to Mode Level 4.1 with the Radiation Labs Monitor 4 geiger counter uploading background radiation readings to Mineral Labs in Prescott, Arizona. Many improvements ensued over the next few months.

The first real test of the system came on June 6th with MADAR-27 which appears to have been a gigantic disturbance from a CME (coronal mass ejection). Interesting, too, was a sudden increase in good sightings in Missouri in early July. Studies of MADAR-27 brought to light information on two interesting items:
1) MADAR 15 & the WOW! Signal, and
2) 1947graph illustrating the greatest sunspot activity since 1900!

Our findings regarding the MADAR-15 event of August 15, 1977 and the simultaneous detection of the WOW! Signal by SETI, was that although CME's are broadband disturbances and could have affected both MADAR and the SETI receivers (and a lot of other equipment in the region) SETI had been monitoring 50 hydrogen line frequencies and ONLY ONE picked up the WOW! Signal!!!! The SETI signal couldn't have been a broadband disturbance.

In regard to the major sunspot activity in 1947, this was a surprise, but its relevance to the wave of 1947 and the Roswell crash has not been established.

As we begin Year Two with MADAR we are not aware what the next months will bring, but the days have already become somewhat routine.



MADAR Room

The first thing on the list each morning is the MADAR Room check of the monitor displaying the TES-1392 graphics. Some computer programs are a little touchy so at least twice a day the program is reset. Once a week the "arm switch" on the MADAR  Mode Control panel is turned off and the primary sensor is checked with a small stick magnet. After putting the "arm switch" back ON, the operator then moves upstairs to the Lab.


 
The Radiation Network        

The computer  monitor for The Radiation Network is turned on and the local background radiation readings are displayed. At the top of the screen is an icon which brings up the map showing the national readings. There are two readings in the area where Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky join together. One reading is ours, usually about 10 counts per minute. To our west at Evansville (15 miles) is the reading, usually in the 30's. The background isn't higher. The geiger counter is a pancake-type device and picks up more gamma rays.  The monitor is turned off and the operator moves across the room to the rack system containing the rest of the MADAR equipment.



Quad Monitor


The operator turns on the Quad Monitor (right) and takes the clipboard off the top shelf so he can enter data into the Daily Datatape Log Sheet.  He then jots down the background radiation readings into column 9. Next he logs the E-M readings from the TE S1392 displayed on Camera2, usually around .04 to .05 microtesla. He then fills in the other column lines with the date, Quad time, CUT (Coordinated Universal Time), the count from the footage indicator on the TLC 2100 (time lapse cassette) surveillance recorder. The page starts out with the Datatape ID # and the current mode level. After hearing the WWV signal from Fort Collins, Colorado, a time fix is established to the exact second for the Quad and the numbers are corrected. The Quad monitor is turned off and the rest of the day is more routine pc work. That's a normal day.

Once a week the datatape, nearly full at the 180 hour scanrate, is extracted and the next tape is installed. There are 12 tapes.

Every once in a while, especially if some new equipment is put into the system, a test or "drill" is performed to make sure the recorders are picking up what they are supposed to.

When MADAR is triggered there are 4 recorders running, three automatically activated in the MADAR room downstairs. One is the TERS Unit which has a mic that picks up the sensor movement beeps. Two stacked dual cassette recorders document law enforcement and aircraft transmissions (on one) and beeps from the geiger counter and the WWV audio time signal (on the other). Later, using Audacity, recordings are made on the pc from the cassettes so the data can be viewed, studied, and uploaded to the internet. Upstairs is the TLC2100 (Time Lapse Cassette) and it displays what occurred before, during, and after the event. This is something the original MADAR never had. Also new is the fact that radiation readings are no longer warm-up-and-start event time logs. The geiger counter is running all the time and there are spreadsheet records on the computer as well as stored at Mineral Labs showing readings before, during, and after the event.

Time fixes are important and with two shortwave radios in the system, one at 10 mHz and the other at 15 mHz, the chances of getting a good time fix every day is very good.

To top it all off we are running a sighting synopsis list for the region, just like we did with MADAR 1. We're actually running TWO lists. One is the  2014UFOIS_chrono.htm which lists raw data sightings from Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The other is a usable database in the form of a spreadsheet.
 
If the MADAR is triggered, and the operator is away, everything is pretty much automatic. He even has a back-up clock that starts and gives elapsed time since activation. If MADAR is triggered and the op is on-station, there are bonuses. The TES-1392 is under surveillance on the TLC2100, BUT upon command he can hit the button on the TES1392 and it becomes a datalogger. The printout shows readings every 2 seconds. He can also contact a local spotter or place all spotters on alert. IF law enforcement, control tower, or a local spotter calls in a "bogey" he can override the system and turn on all recorders. If MADAR is then activated it would be during the event.

The MADAR Project, a data-gathering enterprise and an early warning system, is always looking for new ideas and more equipment.

Francis Ridge
MADAR Director
(812) 838-3120
franridge@nicap.org