Operation Dominic

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Operation Dominic
Dominic Chama 002.jpg
Dominic Chama
Information
Country United States
Test site Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll; Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati; Pacific Ocean off California
Period 1962
Number of tests 31
Test type air drop, free air drop, high alt rocket (30–80 km), parachuted, underwater
Max. yield 8.3 megatonnes of TNT (35 PJ)
Navigation
Previous test series Operation Sunbeam
Next test series Operation Fishbowl

Operation Dominic was a series of 31 nuclear test explosions with a 38.1 Mt total yield conducted in 1962 by the United States in the Pacific.[1] This test series was scheduled quickly, in order to respond in kind to the Soviet resumption of testing after the tacit 1958-1961 test moratorium. Most of these shots were conducted with free-fall bombs dropped from B-52 bomber aircraft. Twenty of these shots were to test new weapons designs; six to test weapons effects; and several shots to confirm the reliability of existing weapons. The Thor missile was also used to lift warheads into near-space to conduct high altitude nuclear explosion tests; these shots were collectively called Operation Fishbowl.[2]

Operation Dominic occurred during a period of high Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, since the Cuban Bay of Pigs Invasion had occurred not long before. Nikita Khrushchev announced the end of a three-year moratorium on nuclear testing on 30 August 1961, and Soviet tests recommenced on 1 September, initiating a series of tests that included the detonation of Tsar Bomba. President John F. Kennedy responded by authorizing Operation Dominic. It was the largest nuclear weapons testing program ever conducted by the United States, and the last atmospheric test series conducted by the U.S., as the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed in Moscow the following year.

The operation appears to have been undertaken by Joint Task Force 8.[citation needed]

United States' Dominic series tests and detonations
Name [note 1] Date time (UT) Local time zone [note 2][3] Location [note 3] Elevation + height [note 4] Delivery [note 5]
Purpose [note 6]
Device [note 7] Yield [note 8] Fallout [note 9] References Notes
Adobe 25 April 1962 15:46:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°19′W / 1.59°N 157.32°W / 1.59; -157.32 (Adobe) 0 + 884 m (2,900 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
XW-50X1-Y2 190 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Verification test, similar to Aztec, Kingfish, Bluegill Triple Prime. Used in a Mk-39 Mod-1 Type 3 drop case.
Aztec 27 April 1962 16:02:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°37′N 157°19′W / 1.62°N 157.31°W / 1.62; -157.31 (Aztec) 0 + 796 m (2,612 ft) air drop,
weapons development
XW-50X1-Y3 410 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] similar to Adobe, Kingfish, Bluegill Triple Prime, yield slightly lower than expected; achieved 2.21 kt/kg.
Arkansas 2 May 1962 18:02:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°16′W / 1.58°N 157.26°W / 1.58; -157.26 (Arkansas) 0 + 1,533 m (5,030 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
XW-56X2 Fife I 1.1 Mt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Highly successful; parachute retarded, only 600 ft (180 m) from aimpoint. 4.00 kt/kg.
Questa 4 May 1962 19:05:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°38′N 157°19′W / 1.63°N 157.32°W / 1.63; -157.32 (Questa) 0 + 1,594 m (5,230 ft) air drop,
weapons development
XW-59 670 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Similar to Alma, Rinconada, Sunset, yield considerably lower than expected.
Frigate Bird 6 May 1962 23:30:?? jamt (-11 hrs)
Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl,HT I.[9]
Launch from Pacific Proving Grounds 12°26′53″N 134°51′14″W / 12.448°N 134.854°W / 12.448; -134.854 (Launch_Frigate Bird), elv: 3–30 m (9.8–98.4 ft);
Detonation over Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 4°49′59″N 149°25′01″W / 4.833°N 149.417°W / 4.833; -149.417 (Frigate Bird)
N/A + 2,530 m (8,300 ft) high alt rocket (30–80 km),
weapons development
W-47Y1, Mk-1 RV 600 kt [1][4][6][7][8] Only US operational ballistic missile launch w/live warhead, Polaris A2 SLBM launched from USS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608), detonated 2,200 yd (2,000 m) from target, completely successful, if somewhat contrived.
Yukon 8 May 1962 18:01:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°37′N 157°19′W / 1.62°N 157.32°W / 1.62; -157.32 (Yukon) 0 + 878 m (2,881 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
Calliope II 100 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] 1st test of high fusion/low fission family; similar to Muskegon, Chetco, Nougat Arikaree, Hudson, Codsaw, Hoosic; yield slightly higher than expected.
Mesilla 9 May 1962 17:01:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°18′W / 1.58°N 157.3°W / 1.58; -157.3 (Mesilla) 0 + 747 m (2,451 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
Mk-15-0 Zippo-I 100 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced primary and secondary concepts test, yield considerably lower than expected.
Muskegon 11 May 1962 15:37:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°19′W / 1.59°N 157.32°W / 1.59; -157.32 (Muskegon) 0 + 913 m (2,995 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
Calliope IV 50 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced lightweight low fission concept, similar to Chetco and Yukon, slightly lower than expected yield.
Swordfish 11 May 1962 20:02:05.9 PST (-8 hrs)
Pacific Ocean off California 31°14′42″N 124°12′43″W / 31.245°N 124.212°W / 31.245; -124.212 (Swordfish) 0 - 198 m (650 ft) underwater,
weapon effect
W44 less than 20 kt [1][4][5][7][8] Full scale RUR-5 ASROC ASW rocket proof test, similar to Nougat Chena, fired from USS Agerholm (DD-826) at target 4,348 yd (3,976 m) away.
Encino 12 May 1962 17:03:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°19′W / 1.58°N 157.31°W / 1.58; -157.31 (Encino) 0 + 1,679 m (5,509 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
XW-43Y5 500 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Verification of reduced yield variant of HT-I Elder shot.
Swanee 14 May 1962 15:22:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°34′N 157°19′W / 1.57°N 157.32°W / 1.57; -157.32 (Swanee) 0 + 896 m (2,940 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
XW-65 ? 97 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] "Clean" ABM warhead test, similar to Bluestone, possible W-65 progenitor, highly experimental, yield lower than expected.
Chetco 19 May 1962 15:37:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°36′N 157°20′W / 1.6°N 157.33°W / 1.6; -157.33 (Chetco) 0 + 2,105 m (6,906 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
Calliope I 73 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced light weight concept, similar to Muskegon and Yukon, yield close to predicted, only 200 ft (61 m) from target.
Tanana 25 May 1962 16:09:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°36′N 157°18′W / 1.6°N 157.3°W / 1.6; -157.3 (Tanana) 0 + 2,752 m (9,029 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
Calliope III 2.6 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Fizzle with secondary fail, "radical" design.
Nambe 27 May 1962 17:03:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°19′W / 1.59°N 157.32°W / 1.59; -157.32 (Nambe) 0 + 2,176 m (7,139 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
Mk-15-0 Zippo-II 43 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] "Unique" design, advanced concepts test, yield lower than expected.
Alma 8 June 1962 17:03:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°31′N 157°13′W / 1.52°N 157.21°W / 1.52; -157.21 (Alma) 0 + 2,702 m (8,865 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
XW-59 782 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Similar to Questa, Rinconada, Sunset. 3.12 kt/kg.
Truckee 9 June 1962 15:37:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°18′W / 1.58°N 157.3°W / 1.58; -157.3 (Truckee) 0 + 2,125 m (6,972 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
XW-58 210 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Development and verification test for the Polaris A-3 weapon (3 MIRV), satisfactory.
Yeso 10 June 1962 17:01:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°30′N 157°14′W / 1.5°N 157.24°W / 1.5; -157.24 (Yeso) 0 + 2,537 m (8,323 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
16-M 3 Mt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced concepts test, similar to HT-I Koa, performed as expected.
Harlem 12 June 1962 15:37:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°34′N 157°13′W / 1.57°N 157.22°W / 1.57; -157.22 (Harlem) 0 + 4,160 m (13,650 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
W-47Y2 /Tuba 1.2 Mt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Successful, doubled W-47Y1 yield, 3.42 kt/kg.
Rinconada 15 June 1962 16:01:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°34′N 157°14′W / 1.56°N 157.23°W / 1.56; -157.23 (Rinconada) 0 + 2,775 m (9,104 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
Mk-15-2 XW-59 "Wall" 800 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Increased yield warhead test, successful, similar to Questa, Alma, Sunset. 3.48 kt/kg.
Dulce 17 June 1962 16:01:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°17′W / 1.59°N 157.28°W / 1.59; -157.28 (Dulce) 0 + 2,771 m (9,091 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
52 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Experimental lightweight, high efficiency design, similar to Mesilla, basic design adequacy confirmed.
Petit 19 June 1962 15:01:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°34′N 157°17′W / 1.57°N 157.28°W / 1.57; -157.28 (Petit) 0 + 4,570 m (14,990 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
Oboe 2.2 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced concepts test, second LRL fizzle, no secondary.
Otowi 22 June 1962 16:01:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°35′N 157°19′W / 1.58°N 157.31°W / 1.58; -157.31 (Otowi) 0 + 2,746 m (9,009 ft) air drop,
weapons development
Mk-15-2 Zippo-III 81.5 kt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced concepts test of "novel system".
Bighorn 27 June 1962 15:19:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°22′N 157°14′W / 1.37°N 157.24°W / 1.37; -157.24 (Bighorn) 0 + 3,600 m (11,800 ft) air drop,
weapons development
Cello I-C 7.7 Mt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced concepts test, successful. 4.14 kt/kg.
Bluestone 30 June 1962 15:21:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°32′N 157°15′W / 1.53°N 157.25°W / 1.53; -157.25 (Bluestone) 0 + 1,518 m (4,980 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
XW56X2 primary 1.3 Mt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Similar to Swanee; 4.96 kt/kg.
Sunset 10 July 1962 16:33:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°36′N 157°16′W / 1.6°N 157.26°W / 1.6; -157.26 (Sunset) 0 + 1,500 m (4,900 ft) air drop,
weapons development
XW-59 1 Mt [1][4][5][6][7][8] High yield advanced concepts test, similar to Questa, Alma, Rinconada, 4.06 kt/kg.
Pamlico 11 July 1962 15:37:?? LINT (-10.67 hrs)
(-10 hrs, 40 min)
Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Kiribati 1°23′N 157°13′W / 1.39°N 157.22°W / 1.39; -157.22 (Pamlico) 0 + 4,370 m (14,340 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
3.9 Mt [1][4][5][6][7][8] Advanced principles test for high-efficiency fusion burn, successful, last Christmas Island airdrop; 0.934 kt/kg (experimental drops are low usually).
Androscoggin 2 October 1962 16:18:?? jamt (-11 hrs)
Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl,HT I.[9]
Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 13°48′N 172°06′W / 13.8°N 172.1°W / 13.8; -172.1 (Androscoggin) 0 + 3,130 m (10,270 ft) air drop,
weapons development
75 kt [1][4][5][7][8][10] Possible Ripple device, fizzle, retested in Housatonic shot.
Bumping 6 October 1962 16:03:?? jamt (-11 hrs)
Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl,HT I.[9]
Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 14°36′N 168°18′W / 14.6°N 168.3°W / 14.6; -168.3 (Bumping) 0 + 3,050 m (10,010 ft) air drop,
weapons development
Oboe 11.3 kt [1][4][5][7][8][10] Retest of Petit, yield much lower than expected, test to improve yield-to-weight ratio.
Chama 18 October 1962 16:01:?? jamt (-11 hrs)
Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl,HT I.[9]
Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 14°36′N 168°42′W / 14.6°N 168.7°W / 14.6; -168.7 (Chama) 0 + 3,650 m (11,980 ft) parachuted,
weapons development
Thumbelina 1.6 Mt [1][4][5][7][8][10] Test of lightweight small diameter device, possible replacement for W-38, yield below predicted value.
Calamity 27 October 1962 15:46:?? jamt (-11 hrs)
Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl,HT I.[9]
Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 14°36′N 168°24′W / 14.6°N 168.4°W / 14.6; -168.4 (Calamity) 0 + 3,590 m (11,780 ft) air drop,
weapons development
800 kt [1][4][5][7][8][10] Third drop test of specific device to maximize yield to weight ratio.
Housatonic 30 October 1962 16:02:?? jamt (-11 hrs)
Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl,HT I.[9]
Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 13°42′N 172°12′W / 13.7°N 172.2°W / 13.7; -172.2 (Housatonic) 0 + 3,700 m (12,100 ft) air drop,
weapons development
Ripple II 8.3 Mt [1][4][5][7][8][10] Repeat of Androscoggin, successful, target accuracy within 100 ft (30 m); last U.S. nuclear weapon airdrop. 2.56 kt/kg.
  1. ^ The US, France and Great Britain have code-named their test events, while the USSR and China did not, and therefore have only test numbers (with some exceptions – Soviet peaceful explosions were named). Word translations into English in parentheses unless the name is a proper noun. A dash followed by a number indicates a member of a salvo event. The US also sometimes named the individual explosions in such a salvo test, which results in "name1 – 1(with name2)". If test is canceled or aborted, then the row data like date and location discloses the intended plans, where known.
  2. ^ To convert the UT time into standard local, add the number of hours in parentheses to the UT time; for local daylight savings time, add one additional hour. If the result is earlier than 00:00, add 24 hours and subtract 1 from the day; if it is 24:00 or later, subtract 24 hours and add 1 to the day. All historical timezone data are derived from here:
  3. ^ Rough place name and a latitude/longitude reference; for rocket-carried tests, the launch location is specified before the detonation location, if known. Some locations are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. "~" indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.
  4. ^ Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel, air drop or other contrivance. For rocket bursts the ground level is "N/A". In some cases it is not clear if the height is absolute or relative to ground, for example, Plumbbob/John. No number or units indicates the value is unknown, while "0" means zero. Sorting on this column is by elevation and height added together.
  5. ^ Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, and barge are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT. Intentional cratering tests are borderline; they occurred under the treaty, were sometimes protested, and generally overlooked if the test was declared to be a peaceful use.
  6. ^ Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.
  7. ^ Designations for test items where known, "?" indicates some uncertainty about the preceding value, nicknames for particular devices in quotes. This category of information is often not officially disclosed.
  8. ^ Estimated energy yield in tons, kilotons, and megatons. A ton of TNT equivalent is defined as 4.184 gigajoules (1 gigacalorie).
  9. ^ Radioactive emission to the atmosphere aside from prompt neutrons, where known. The measured species is only iodine-131 if mentioned, otherwise it is all species. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and "all" if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, where known, and the measured amount of radiation released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000), CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3), SMDC Monitoring Research 
  2. ^ Dwayne A. Day (7 May 2007). "Space ghost". The Space Review. 
  3. ^ "Timezone Historical Database". iana.com. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Sublette, Carey, Nuclear Weapons Archive, retrieved 2014-01-06 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Operation Dominic I (DNA6040F), Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983, retrieved 2014-01-12 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Norris, Robert Standish; Cochran, Thomas B. (1 February 1994), United States nuclear tests, July 1945 to 31 December 1992 (NWD 94-1), Nuclear Weapons Databook Working Paper (Washington, DC: Natural Resources Defense Council), retrieved 2013-10-26 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Hansen, Chuck (1995), The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8, Sunnyvale, CA: Chukelea Publications, ISBN 978-0-9791915-1-0 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae United States Nuclear Tests: July 1945 through September 1992 (DOE/NV-209 REV15), Las Vegas, NV: Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, 2000-12-01, retrieved 2013-12-18 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Hoerlin, Herman (October 1976), United States High-Altitude Test Experiences: A Review Emphasizing the Impact on the Environment (LA-6405), Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, p. 4, retrieved 2014-02-26  Reference for timezone at Johnston Island 1958-1962.
  10. ^ a b c d e Griggs, D. T.; Press, Frank (1961), Probing the earth with nuclear explosions, Journal of Geophysical Research, 66(1): 237–258 

External links[edit]