Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Bawdsey Research Station

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1935 Orfordness Research Station (ORS) was set up to develop radiodirection finding (RDF) as a means of long‐range aircraft detection.

1936 ORS moved to Bawdsey Manor; renamed Bawdsey Research Station (BRS). Having created the team, Robert Watson Watt was the first Superintendent of the Bawdsey Research Station. The range of RDF was extended to 75 miles, which was developed into the Chain Home RDF system.

1938 Albert Percival Rowe succeeded Robert Watson-Watt as Superintendent of the Bawdsey Research Station

1939 To protect the work in the event of war, it was decided to move the team to Dundee; the organization was renamed the Air Ministry Research Establishment. But east Scotland was not free from hostile aircraft, which interfered with the research at the nearby Chain Home station.

The aircraft‐to‐aircraft radio-location system, developed at BRS, was implemented in a Blenheim night-fighter. An air‐to‐surface-vessel radio-location system was fitted in a Hudson aircraft of Coastal Command. The first practical IFF (Identification Friend‐or‐Foe) system was developed.

1940 The unit was moved again, to Worth Matravers, near Swanage, and put under the Ministry of Aircraft Production. In November 1940 it was renamed Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE).

See Also


Sources of Information

  • History of MOD Innovation [1]