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The untold Pearl Harbor radar story

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1 Author(s)
C. P. West ; 29825 8th Place South, Federal Way, WA, USA

Ever wonder what happened to the radar set that detected the Japanese aircraft before the raid on Pearl Harbor? This article reveals the fate of that SCR-270 radar set; describes some of the radar development background; and includes typical results of a World War II command, control and communications system that used the SCR-270 as its backbone radar. The SCR-270 was a radio-echo detection and direction finding set for locating aircraft. It operated by transmitting a short-duration pulse of high frequency radio waves, which would be reflected or re-radiated by any metallic or conducting surface within the field of the directive transmitting antenna; therefore, one or more aircraft within the antenna field appeared as a source of reflected radio waves. Rotating the antenna which also served as the receiving antenna, provided a means for determining the azimuth or direction of aircraft. The system measured the time it took a blip or reflected return from the target to appear on a cathode ray tube indicator, to give the distance or range to the detected aircraft. The maximum range of the radar was about 250 miles up to 50,000 feet under all atmospheric conditions including rain, mist, smoke or fog, and during daylight or darkness. The azimuth and range data supplied by the set permitted the plotting of the location of detected aircraft on maps. Major performance characteristics of the radar are provided in the included table.<>

Published in:

IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 4 )