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Technical History of the Beginnings of Radar

1986 Edition, January 1, 1986

Complete Document

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PBHT006E * ISBN: 9780863410437
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This book discusses the analytical record of the emergence of radar in those countries where independent development occurred. It purposely confines itself to before the cavity magnetron era of radar. After a short discussion on what radar is, the physical principles underlying pulse radar systems are discussed in some detail. The principal forerunners of radar, from Tesla's concept in 1900 of a method for detecting the presence and movement of distant objects, to Chester Rice's experiments with microwaves in the 1930s, are treated in chronological order. The emergence of radar in the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Holland and Hungary is then examined, and, with the exception of the latter two countries, an annotated bibliography is provided in each case. The work in the United Kingdom is then chosen for more detailed attention. The political and technical backgrounds to the development of the Chain Home and related systems are treated in detail, as is the emergence of the early metric airborne radar sets. This comprehensive account of British radar permits a certain amount of attention to be given to a description of the functioning of key circuits and of the techniques used; thereby it is hoped to convey some perception of the radio-electronic technology of the time. The emergence of the resonant-cavity magnetron was a turning point in radar history. The story of its origin, prefaced by an account of earlier types of magnetron, is told. Some overall conclusions are drawn and a number of appendices of historical and technical interest are provided.


S. S. Swords