VLF Transmitter Woodside

Woodside Omega Transmitter (station G, now Woodside VLF transmitter) near Woodside, Victoria, Australia, was a transmission tower that was completed in 1982 and demolished in 2015.

Woodside Omega Mast
General information
TypeGuyed grounded mast equipped with umbrella antenna
LocationWoodside, Australia
Coordinates38°28′52″S 146°56′7″E
Destroyed22 April 2015
Height432 m (1,417.32 ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectUS Coast Guard/Australian Department of Transport
Main contractorElectric Power Transmission Pty Ltd


In 1977, The United States and Australian governments agreed to establish an OMEGA navigation system in south-eastern Australia.[1] [2] The agreement was extended in 1995, to 30 September 1997.[3]

Station G was an Omega transmitter that used an umbrella antenna carried by a 432 metres (1,417 ft) tall grounded lattice steel guyed mast. Unlike many of the other Omega Transmitters, Woodside was not a "hot tower," that is, one which is insulated from a ground connection by large ceramic insulators that support the entire weight of the structure. Rather, the tower was electrically insulated from the topmost guys which served as the radiators, similar to the metal radials of an umbrella without cloth covering. The mast simply supported the downward sloping guy wires which are the active elements. The guy wires were also used to hold the tower itself in place.[4] This mast was the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere.[5] Construction of this station was originally planned to be built in New Zealand but after protests from anti-war protestors it was built in Australia,[6] although not without controversy.[7] The tower was officially opened in October 1982,[8] but had been operating for 3 months prior to that, with the first broadcast at 10am on the 16th of August, having taken 3.5 years to construct,[9] however the tower itself having taken only 30 days to be constructed.[10]

After the shutdown of the OMEGA navigation system on 30 September 1997, the station was used as a transmitter for uni-directional communications to submarines on 13 kHz under the callsign VL3DEF until 2004. Until December 2008, it had been transmitting a 100 baud MSK modulated signal on 18.6 kHz.[11]

Current status

The station was decommissioned in November 2008. Aircraft warning lights continued to operate on each of the 10 43m platforms, however some of these lights had stopped working. Transmission equipment from the Omega navigation system is now on display at the Port Albert Maritime Museum.[12][13]

On 25 January 2014 a BASE jumper was killed during an attempt to parachute from the tower.[14]

The station was demolished by explosives on 22 April 2015.[15]

See also


  1. "Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America for the Establishment in South-Eastern Australia of an OMEGA Navigation Facility ATS 20 of 1977 ". Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian Treaties Library. Retrieved on 15 April 2017. (1975).
  2. Report from the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence on Omega navigational installation. Canberra: Govt. Printer of Australia.
  3. "Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America concerning the continued Operation in South-Eastern Australia of the Omega Navigation Facility ATS 18 of 1995”. Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian Treaties Library. Retrieved on 15 April 2017. Australia
  4. Australia - HAIKU VALLEY
  5. List of tallest structures in the world by country
  6. Antipodean Mariner - Omega Navigation System
  7. "17 held in wild Omega protest". 22 November 1982. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  8. Cranston, Frank (21 October 1982). "13 Years of Controversy". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  9. "Omega Base Operational". The Canberra Times. 17 August 1982. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  10. NoFingerPrints.net - Climbing the Omega Tower
  11. Curtain draws on Cold War icon - ABC Gippsland Vic - Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  12. Port Albert Maritime Museum
  13. Culture Victoria - Port Albert Maritime Museum
  14. "Dead base jumper's helmet camera may have been removed, Victoria Police say". ABC News. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  15. "Tallest structure collapses in a heap". News.com.au. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.

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