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Environmental Impact Analysis Process. Environmental Review Starlab Site On Antigua; Phase II Archeological Surveys of Proposed Ground Calibration Sites on Antigua, West Indies

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Technical rept.

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This Environmental Review has been prepared to identify and evaluate potential environmental issues associated with the proposed construction and operation of a ground calibration site on the Island of Antigua in the Caribbean. The ground calibration site would be used during a portion of the Starlab Program experiments that have been described in a previous Environmental Assessment USAF 1990. The purpose of these experiments is to advance the research program of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization SDIO, particularly that involving the acquisition, tracking, and pointing capabilities of Electro-optical and laser systems. The proposed ground calibration experiments would use the green and red Starlab lasers on the Space Shuttle to locate and actively scan a site on Antigua Island. The experiments would demonstrate the tracking and pointing accuracy of the laser system before conducting other experiments. The most significant issue addressed in this Environmental Review is the potential exposure of people andor wildlife to laser beams. Other issues that are discussed and evaluated in this document are the potential impacts of constructing and operating the ground calibration site on land use, ecological resources, endangered and threatened species, and cultural resources. Four locations for ground calibration facilities were identified and evaluated during site visits. Two of the sites, the ETR Telemetry site and the Willoughby Bay site, are evaluated in detail in this review. Archeological surveys suggest that the Telemetry site should be chosen over the Willoughby Bay site because it is already disturbed and is adjacent to existing U.S. Air Force facilities. Therefore, use of the site would not disturb any natural vegetation or wildlife habitat. However, development of the Willoughby Bay Site would require removal of some natural second growth vegetation and wildlife habitat, including possible hummingbird habitat. 3 tables, 11 figures, 19 refs.7

Subject Categories:

  • Radiobiology
  • Lasers and Masers
  • Ground Support Systems and Facilities for Space Vehicles
  • Environmental Health and Safety

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