Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The birth of Radar

I went to an excellent lecture at my institute with a real engineering gentleman - Laurence Tandy. He reminded me of some of the senior engineers at the Beeb. He clearly had a lot of love for his subject and enjoyed talking about the development of radar from before the war until now. His subject is magnetrons which I've had brushes with when on placement at transmitters (when I was at the Beeb) but never really understood how they work. His explanation was excellent and I came away having really learnt something.
Along with his explanation of the various technique he related several incidents concerning the war and his time spent assisting Robert Watson-Watt - the father of radar. He started as an eighteen year-old lab tech in 1938 and worked his way up to Master Specification Officer for Microwave Power Devices at the government-run Telecommunications Research Establishment from where he retired in 1981.

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