AT&T Union Point Repeater Repairs
The passive microwave repeater at Union Point (the Sentinel Reflector), is a reflective panel which assists in closing the microwave link from the signal origin on the rim of Yosemite Valley to the Valley floor. The sheer cliffs of the Valley necessitate the presence of this structure in completing this link and providing crucial telecommunications for Valley operations. The repeater is located in designated Wilderness, directly north and downslope of Sentinel Dome.
In early July 2020, the passive repeater at Union Point was found damaged by a suspected decayed tree break. The top left corner of the structure was found bent out of alignment, resulting in a reduction of telecommunications signal across Yosemite Valley. AT&T, the company responsible for maintaining the structure, is requesting the issuance of a Special Use Permit to replace the flat metallic panel of the repeater. The panel would be painted flat black to match the existing damaged panel.
The new panel will take approximately 8-10 weeks to manufacture. Installation will take 1 day. The panel and installation hardware would be brought into the site by helicopter; up to ten total flights are planned. Ground crews will hike into the site. AT&T will coordinate the date and time of repair with NPS leadership, Yosemite Hospitality, and other stakeholders as telephone service will be unavailable while the panel is being replaced. Equipment staging is planned in either Foresta or El Portal.