SatCom Array NW-05a

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SatCom Array NW-05a is a satellite communications array, part of the SatCom Array in the northwest of the Capital Wasteland. It is located further west of NN-03d, between Fort Constantine and the MDPL-05 power station.


NW-05a is populated by members of the Talon Company and a ghoul scientist.


The SatCom Array's interior opens into a large room with a staircase that leads up to a second floor with nothing notable other than a workbench with a bottlecap mine on it. The stairs also lead to a small alcove with a ladder. Climbing the ladder will lead onto the satellite dish at the top of the array.

Notable lootEdit

On the scientist's body you will find three notes. The two SatCom array coordinates will mark the other two SatCom arrays on the map when used with the computer at the top of the tower. The third holotape will activate "Highwater-Trousers," an orbital micro-nuclear weapons platform (basically a satellite armed with nuclear missiles that can hit targets on the ground) that will drop several small tactical nuclear missiles around the tower. The scientist's notes indicate that while the orbital platform's missile payload is still intact, the rotors which change the targeting position of the array need to be replaced. There does not appear to be a replacement component at any other array.


  • There are five armed frag mines positioned near the exterior entry door at ground level.
  • For amusement purposes, the Highwater Trousers activation can be uploaded, taken from the dead scientist into the nearby terminal, and at any pace move up the ladder to the top of the dish (note that nothing will happen until moving from the spawn point). Once outside, a nuclear bombardment will occur around the tower. The explosions are ten times bigger than a mini nuke and leave no craters, but cause fairly high, quickly decreasing radiation (above 40 rads a second, near the center of impact). They can kill companions if they have been stationed near a location where a missile falls.
  • The scientist cannot be enslaved using the Mesmetron - instead, she will frenzy. The resulting fire-fight typically ends with her death.
  • One of the Talon Company sentries is on an upper catwalk that is not accessible from within the tower or by exterior ladder. The sentry gets up there by climbing the tower itself. Shooting him stops his climbing script, allowing him to be killed.
  • Sometimes, after The Waters of Life, the Talon Company will be replaced with Enclave troopers.
  • The interior is very similar to that of Old World Blues' X-2 transmitter antenna array, with the same escalating stairs form and ladder/exiting hatch to the dish.
  • The locations of the two other SatCom Arrays NN-03d and NW-07c (mentioned in the ghoul scientist's notes) will be put on the map in the Pip-Boy upon decryption using the computer terminal in the tower above.
  • Both of the other SatCom Arrays otherwise have no connection to the scientist's endeavor making the orbital bombardment satellite work, in both other locations there are no options for facilitating the satellite to move to other targets or the like.
  • A short way to the South-West is a radioactive depression. After The Waters of Life, within the depression should be a few Enclave troops.
  • Strangely, near the entrance, their is a sign indicating that the Satcom Array is a fallout shelter, even though it is above ground and doesn't appear to be able to resist radiation or withstand a bomb hit.


The SatCom Array NW-05a appears only in Fallout 3.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • While the name itself is not a real world link, the station is; Highwater Trousers is a FOBS, a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System. These systems were originally developed by the Russians in the 1960s, banned by international treaty (which banned nuclear weapons in space) and evolved into the silo-launched versions, though only a variant of the R-36 "city buster" was fielded before the SALT II treaty explicitly banned such weapons. The theory (and fear) was that such weapons could be put into orbit indefinitely and launch their payloads from any distance, and any direction, even through holes in the enemy's early warning defense systems.
  • It's also possible that the ghouls' implied plan (to void the United States' orbital nuclear arsenal), is a reference to the canceled Van Buren project, the plot of which involved a scientist using the United States' orbital nuclear arsenal to purge the wasteland.


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