The wonders of radar

Radar, which stands for ‘radio detection and ranging’, is a system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, and speed of aircraft, ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of radio waves which are reflected off the object back to the source.

It was early in 1935 that Sir Henry Tizard‘s Aeronautical Research Committee began testing a facility that would later transform the way Britain was able to defend itself during the Second World War. The original project took place in great secrecy in Suffolk. On 17 June 1935, the research apparatus successfully detected an aircraft at a distance of 17 miles. Following this success a great deal of further research and development took place, creating the radar equipment that was used throughout the Second World War.

Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, several radar stations were constructed along the south and east coasts of Britain, enabling the RAF to defeat the Luftwaffe enemy forces, particularly during the Battle of Britain.

With the help of radar, it was possible to detect the actual timed position of enemy aircraft, as we can see here as a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force works with the ‘map board’ in the Battle of Britain Bunker at RAF Uxbridge in London.

“The Map Board in the Battle of Britain Bunker at RAF Uxbridge in London” by Anguskirk Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Published by Isabella Muir

Isabella is passionate about exploring family life from the 1930s through to the 1960s. She has published five Sussex Crime mystery novels set during the 1960s, a standalone novel dealing with the child migrant policy of the 1950s and 60s, several novellas set during the Second World War, and two short story collections. All available in paperback from your local bookshops, or online as ebooks. Her novels are also available as audiobooks, and have been translated into Italian.

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