DOE/NNSA Clears Path For Microwave Dishes In Santa And At LANL For Communications Infrastructure


The U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration proposes to install two eight-foot-wide microwave dishes and accompanying infrastructure on the roof of a leased property in Santa Fe, NM. The microwave dishes are needed to provide redundant network capabilities with the communications tower recently installed at Technical Area 53 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Installation would include the two microwave dishes and accompanying infrastructure on the roof of the Pacheco Complex in Santa Fe and two eight-foot microwave dishes on the cellular tower located at the bend of Leda Road in TA-53 at LANL. The existing tower at TA-53 is a 70-foot-tall monopole structure with radio antennae. Investigations of microwave technology have identified a clear line of sight of approximately 22 miles between the Pacheco Complex and the TA-53 communications tower.

The microwave dishes would be used alongside the primary overhead fiber-optic cable to provide the required level of bandwidth (5 Gbps) to keep communications intact. LANL has identified a need for this project by recognizing the vulnerability for communications with the existing fiber-optic line between LANL and Santa Fe due to power outages and mechanical failures. The Categorical Exclusion can be accessed online at