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Radar Secrets Revealed - Newsreel
Videos for Engineers

Radar Secrets Revealed Newsreel - RF Cafe Videos for EngineersHalf a century ago, radar was still a mystery to most people. Radio in general was still a mystery for that matter. Today, radio and radar are still mysteries to most people, it is just that today the devices are ubiquitous - even if the people do not realize what miracles of engineering they are. Radar played a crucial role in pushing back Axis forces during World War II. Not only did it afford advanced notice and estimation of air force sizes many miles in advance of their approaches, but it also warned of land and sea forces. Surprise attacks above the clouds or within fog and rain were no longer tactics that could be assumed to be successful.

In trademark form from the WWII era, this newsreel titled "Radar Secrets Revealed" presents a high level demonstration of how the early radars functioned, complete with motivational music and enthusiastic, deep-voiced narration. I almost felt an obligation to stand at attention while watching it.

As with any of the films of the era, if you are privy to the details of the featured technology, you have to be amazed at the ingenuity of the developers and the skill of the operators. Early radar scopes were not the nifty large, round, color-coded displays we are familiar with today. Rather, they were small, basic cathode ray tubes (CRTs - remember them?), with a low-tech trace that plotted signal strength against the time scale. Operators would compare signal strength to the distance (time) and try to discern whether it represents a single large craft or multiple smaller craft; i.e., a bomber with a couple escorts, or an entire squadron of attack planes. The relatively low frequencies where the radars operated limited spatial resolution.

Modern radars are able to exploit many techniques for target optimization, including frequency agility, target tracking, and sophisticated signal processing that in many cases can identify the type of object being detected.

Radar Secrets Revealed

Videos for Engineers - RF CafeThis archive links to the many video and audio files that have been featured on RF Cafe.

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Posted August 9, 2011

About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024

Webmaster:

    Kirt Blattenberger,

    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

Copyright  1996 - 2026

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

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