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Radar: Technical Principles
Videos for Engineers

Radar: Technical Principles (Pips) - RF Cafe Videos for EngineersThe development of radar by the British and Americans during World War II was undoubtedly a key factor in preventing Hitler's forces from destroying and dominating the world. Once his ground forces had invaded western and southern Europe and spread toward the eastern seaboard, the main task remaining was to take England and Ireland. The English Channel prevented a relatively simple land invasion, so the Luftwaffe undertook an air campaign both in the form of massive bombing raids and the terrible V1 Buzz Bombs and V2 rockets developed by Werner von Braun's team. Scotsman Robert Watson Watt was commissioned to create a microwave "death ray" to shoot down the German aircraft and rockets, but his investigations showed that microwaves would be more effective employed in the form of radar to give advanced warning of approaching squadrons. That gave RAF pilots time to get airborne and go out to meet the enemy before it could reach British shores. Of course, Hitler then made bombing the radar installations a priority. Just as Admiral Kurita made a fatal strategic decision during the Battle of Leyte Gulf by turning his fleet around, Göring made a fatal decision to cease bombing of the radars and concentrate on British airfields. Both actions were based on bad assumptions about the opposition's status. There is footage I have never seen before of a German V2 rocket launch. But, I digress.

This series of videos was produced by the U.S. Army Signal Corps (CiC pronunciation "corpse") as part of the training program for radar technicians. I was a radar repairman in the USAF and do not recall seeing this series of films, but then my time was 1978-1982. The basics really haven't changed, other than the displays are no longer traces on an oscilloscope where the position of "pips" on the time base represent the distance and relative size of the target. The most advanced contemporary radar still uses a central timing unit to synchronize all time-related information, and has an antenna to "fling" RF energy into space, be reflected off of objects, and be processed by the receiver. The dictate to me and every other radar repairman in military history: "Whichever set you work on, your job, the repairman's job, is the same - to keep your set working and working right all the time."

Oh, if you have not yet watched the Reel 1, Part 3 video on radar indicators, you might be wondering what that thumbnail image has to do with a radar training film. Back in the day, especially in England, it was common to refer adoringly to someone as a "pip." Pip was also the term given to a blip on the radar screen, hence the symbolism. It was a mental bait-and-switch to get the troops' interest. You can bet there would never be such material in today's training videos. I won't comment further on the subject.


Radar Technical Principles
Reel 1 - Part 2 - Mechanics


Radar Technical Principles
Reel 2 - Part 2 - Mechanics


Radar Technical Principles
Reel 3 - Part 2 - Mechanics

Radar: Technical Principles
Reel 1 - Part 3 - Indicators


Radar: Technical Principles
Reel 2 - Part 3 - Indicators


Radar: Technical Principles
Reel 3 - Part 3 - Indicators

Radar: Technical Principles
Reel 4 - Part 3 - Indicators

Radar: Technical Principles
Reel 5 - Part 3 - Indicators

 


   


Posted 2/8/2012
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