Flightglobal reports: A new satellite image of an isolated airstrip in Nevada shows a secret but operational unmanned air vehicle (UAV) test facility. The Yucca Lake airfield, deep inside the heavily restricted Tonopah Test Range, is on land owned by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a division of the Department of Energy (DoE), but was constructed and operated by an undisclosed government customer.
The satellite image, taken in early 2011 and available on Google Maps, appears to show a roughly 5,200 ft (1,580m) asphalt runway and what appears to be a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper UAV being towed on the parking ramp. The airfield has four hangers of varying sizes, including a hanger with clamshell doors that is characteristic of US UAV operations. Details of the airfield, including a parking lot, security perimeter and ongoing construction are clearly visible.
The hangers could accommodate a total of between 10-15 MQ-9 Reaper aircraft, according to Tim Brown, an imagery analyst with Globalsecurity.org.