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Saturday, June 29, 2013

What Watt? Watson-Watt!

Atmospheric Dynamics Group (ADG) Medium Frequency (MF) Radar, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Up on Andøya Island in Northern Norway, near the Andøya Rocket Range, is a MF (Medium Frequency) Radar installation, the largest in Europe. MF Radar seems to be mostly used for atmospheric research and/or weather prediction. I'm always interested in big government projects, so I spent some time looking for pictures of such a device, but I didn't find much. Basically you have a series of tall, thin, antennae towers. You can see shadows on satellite images, but that's about it. So now I'm reading up on radar and I find that Sir Robert Watson-Watt developed the first pulsed radar system in Great Britain in 1935. Watson-Watt? Would that be Watt, son of Watt? Yes it would:
Born in BrechinAngusScotland,on the 13 April 1892 Watson-Watt (the hyphenated name is used herein for consistency, although this was not adopted until he was knighted in 1942) was a descendant of James Watt, the famous engineer and inventor of the practical steam engine.
Knighted for his work on radar.

1 comment:

Stu Savory said...

Watt? Watt?
The first commercial steam-powered device was a water pump, developed in and patented in 1698 by my ancestor Thomas Savery. Watt was a couple of decades later.