The Radar Pages

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Site Introduction

The Radar News

Radar theory

RAF Radar

Radar Personalities

Oral History

Gentlemen, that reminds me......

Radar Jargon

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Radar, Service and Cold War links

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


The Radar Pages

All you ever wanted to know about British WWII and Cold War air defence radar

"In some of my tests I have noticed the effects and deflection of these waves by metallic objects miles away" Guglielmo Marconi (Address to a joint meeting of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and Institute of Radio Engineers
20 June 1922)

Site introduction

The Radar Pages is dedicated to preserving the memory of R.A.F. air defence radar personnel and equipment. The web site attempts to capture the esprit de corps of R.A.F. radar past and present and presents a catalogue of R.A.F. equipment from the earliest days to the present. The site includes a Radar Theory section for educational purposes and Oral History, a growing archive of anecdotal accounts of R.A.F radar orientated life experiences. The web site is also designed to provide a one stop source for researchers, historians and casual enquirers seeking information about R.A.F radar, personnel and equipment. To aid this aim there are comprehensive lists of contact addresses, web sites and reading references.

Chain Home transmitter tower (photo - CHIDE)This is an ongoing project that examines the theory and practice of air defence radar technology, and on Royal Air Force air defence radar in particular. This site does not glorify war, though I pay tribute to the countless women and men who served Great Britain and her allies in war and peace and protected our nation from aerial attack. As the term implies, Air Defence is about defence, not attack.

A project of this size will, naturally, take a long time to complete and as it is after all a part time endeavour I ask your for patience. From time to time I have to rearrange the site as new information becomes available. For example, much of the early Rotor equipment consisted of older radars left over from the Second World War, so there is considerable overlap between the various systems. Eventually these anomalies will sort themselves out but for the time being please bear with me.

I have made considerable use of previously published articles and such sources are duly and gratefully acknowledged. Many excellent articles have appeared in periodicals over the years and I hope that this site can provide a repository for articles that will provide a useful resource for students and researchers.

The site has several components:

The Radar News pages will keep you up to date with developments on this site, forthcoming events etc. If you have an announcement to make or wish to publicize an event such as a reunion and so on then drop me a line and I'll post it here.

The Radar Theory Pages are based on the R.A.F Standard Technical Training Notes (STTN) AP3302 Part 3 (2nd edition), the manual used in the Royal Air Force for radar apprentice training for many years up to the early 1970's. The original document is quite out of date now, some of the symbols used are no longer in use for example and valves are mostly a distant memory. Eventually I hope to add appendices that reflect current practice but in the mean time I want to recreate the feel of the original manual.

Passive Detection aerial - RAF Boulmer (Photo - Dick Barrett)RAF Radar is a data base of Royal Air Force Early Warning and Air Defence radars covering the period from the late 1930's to the 1980's. Another name for these pages might be "From Chain Home to Martello". To the best o f my knowledge this site is the only resource on the net that describes the wartime, "Rotor" and "Linesman" radar equipment in any detail . Some of the pages may take a while to complete; accurate and detailed data is often hard to get hold of due to the secrecy in which the systems were developed and deployed, records and technical manuals are often lost or destroyed. If you can point me towards any books or technical articles that might help I would be extremely grateful.

Sir Robert Watson-Watt (Photo - IEEE)Radar Personalities features the skills and tenacity of the people whose work has helped to develop Radar in all its forms. These pages are not exclusively Radar, the early pioneers, the engineers and the scientists whose work has contributed to our radar knowledge and experience are included. If you think of anyone who should be in these pages please drop me a line with some biographical notes and I'll include them in this section.

You can find a full list of recommended reference sources in the References section, whilst the Radar and Cold War Links section contains the web addresses and short descriptions of some of the many excellent web sites that are available.

The idea of the Oral History pages is to build up a collection of histories and memoirs, the experiences and recollections of those people who "were there". It matters not whether you played a pivitol role or if you were one of the countless people who "did their bit". War time and peace time, our memories will help future historians to develop the context in which the momentous events of our times took place.

Finally, for light relief there is "Gentlemen, that reminds me...", a collection of pages of anecdotes and jokes. Be they true or false we all need a laugh so send me those stories!

I am often adding something new, making corrections and updating the pages so come back regularly and check The News to see what has been happening. Major changes will be posted on The News pages and I'll put "updated" comments at the bottom of the other pages as I go along. Items marked with the or flashes are less than one month old. If you have any ideas that could be incorporated drop me a line and I'll see what I can do. You might also find that some of the pages move about a bit; this is because the site is still evolving so I apologize in advance if this causes any confusion.

Finally, the watch word is simplicity. That means no fancy Frames, Flash, or whistles and bells to get in the way or to slow things down. In order to keep the down load times reasonable I have had to compress the images considerably. I regret this, as a picture can convey so much more than words. Perhaps we'll all get E1 or T1 access one day! If you would like to receive a higher definition picture drop me a line with details of what you want and I'll see what I can do for you.

Dick Barrett

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Updated 07/08/2009

Constructed by Dick Barrett
ęCopyright 2000 - 2009 Dick Barrett . All rights reserved.
The right of Dick Barrett to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


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