The Invention Of Radar Essay Research Paper

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The Invention Of Radar Essay, Research Paper The invention of radar, “radio detection and ranging” was a long discontinuous process, conducted by various scientists and engineers over the span of many years in different countries. Tests conducted independently by researchers determined many of the important properties of radar. These experimental results, combined with the need for national defense in wartime, spurred the development of a technology capable of seeing through dark clouds in the dead of night and reporting the presence of enemy aircraft approaching. Before utilizing this technology, it was necessarily to invent, produce and distribute it. These are stages in the product life of every new device, but radar differed from a typical consumer good because of

war. Radar’s end users were determined from the beginning to be governments, and radar systems did not require a consumer market. They did however require a few individuals who understood the technology and who could convince governing bodies and manufacturers to sponsor and produce these systems. Hugh Aitken refers to such individuals as “translators”, or men who can move technology among the categories of invention, production and distribution. These are men with special interests, abilities and experiences that bridge the gap between two or more distinct arenas of product development. In the history of radar there were several such men, and this paper will detail the involvement of two. A. Hoyt Taylor in the United States and Henry Tizard in Great Britain both acted as

translators, ensuring that the new technology of radar took its prominent place in the defense of both countries. Long before he received any higher schooling, Taylor started working with old car parts and discarded wiring to make batteries in his own telegraph line. He attended a small high school in Evanston, Illinois where he took every math, physics and chemistry class he could. Because family finances prevented him from attending a college where he could study electrical engineering, the young Taylor went to a local college. He registered for a special course loaded with college physics, chemistry and mathematics. Meanwhile he worked nights installing electric doorbells and burglar alarms. By combining this experience and a detailed grasp of the theoretical principles,

Taylor was clearly destined to make a place for himself among the great men of science. After spending a year studying at the Institute of Applied Electricity in Goettingen, Germany, where he went to study because “German scientists and engineers enjoyed a prestige and respect which was by no means equaled in our country at that time”, Taylor returned to the United States in 1909 to head the physics department at the University of North Dakota. Through radio research conducted at the university Taylor made his first contact with the United States Navy in 1916. The Navy expressed interest in the application of radio for direction finding as well as communication, and Taylor agreed to work with the Great Lakes Naval Station near Lake Bluff, Illinois on radio propagation.

Taylor’s work eventually lead to a commission as a lieutenant, and the call to active duty on March 28, 1917, a few days before declaration of war with Germany. In 1922, Taylor and Leo C. Young were working for the US Navy studying high frequency communication at the Naval Research Laboratory near the Anacostia River in Washington D.C. The basic setup of the experiment consisted of a transmitter on one side of the river which sent a signal to a receiver on the other side. They used the resulting tone was for communication. An unexpected discovery came when the tone would swell to nearly double it’s intended volume before fading to nearly nothing. This process reversed a few moments later, going from near silence to maximum volume and back to the intended loudness. Taylor and