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Archives:IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine Historical Articles

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The IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society has in its publication IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine featured articles on history. The IEEE Global History Network has partnered with the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society to make those particularly articles free to the public on IEEE Xplore, which is IEEE’s digital library that delivers access to the world's highest quality technical literature in engineering and technology. The abstracts and links for the Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine collection appear below.

Barton, D.K.
Volume 25, Issue 3, 2010
History of Monopulse Radar in the US
The history of development of monopulse radar in the US is reviewed herein. Significant techniques that permitted monopulse tracking radars to achieve accurate tracking with high efficiency are discussed, including sum-and-difference antenna feed networks, multi-horn and multi-mode feeds, precision mechanical pedestals, and space-fed arrays. The discussion concentrates on surface-based radars, but many of the techniques apply to airborne radars and missile seekers developed during the same periods.

Brown, L.
Volume 15, Issue 4, 2000
A radar history of world war 2 technical and military imperatives
As a - perhaps less typical - representative of the post-war generation, I have found that books and articles dealing with technical achievements made during those dark days of battle and frustration can be roughly divided into two distinct categories: those having the pure scientific view with a substantial amount of equations, graphs and references of sophisticated theorical value; and those actual memoirs of officers and thus emphasizing military tactics but neglecting technical development. If the first are characterized by drawings and photographs of equipment details, teh latter surely have a number of pictures full of hard-looking faces of then junior officers and occasionally a smudged photo fo HMS What-Ever-She-Was somewhere in the foggy Polar Sea. Common to both types has been a coloured touch - caused mainly by political tragedies - a shy and somewhat humble attitude in German writings and occasionally made the former Allied Specialist act as described by the former group, ABBA, as "the winner takes all".

Chakravarthi, P.
Volume 7, Issue 4, 1992
The history of communications-from cave drawings to mail messages
The considerations that shaped human communication over time are identified and used as a framework for discussing the early history of communication. The communication means examined include voice, drumbeat, horn and whistle, fire, and letters

Chernyak, V.S., Immoreev, I.
Volume 24, Issue 9, 2009
A Brief History of Radar
In his report about experiments with radio communication in the Baltic Sea in 1897, Russian scientist Alexander Popov reported the detection of a warship "Lieutenant Il'in" when it crossed the radio communication link between two other ships "Europe" and "Africa". This observation was the first mention about the possibility of object detection by means of radio waves. The first patent on the phenomena was obtained in 1904 by German engineer Christian Hiilsmeyer who called this device the "Telemobiloskop". However, neither A. Popov's observation nor C. Hulsmeyer's invention was the subject of any development up to the 1930s of the 20th century. This is a partial summary of the work done by the Soviet Union and Russia in the field of radar.

Chetty, P.R.K.
Volume 7, Issue 4, 1992
Resonant power supplies: their history and status
The various types of converter are described, and the history of resonant power supplies is briefly sketched. The differences between pulse-width-modulated (PWM) switch mode power supplies and resonant power supplies are discussed. Single-switch, multiple-switch, and series and parallel resonant converters are examined. The control of resonant converters is addressed. Hardware is briefly considered

Delaney, W.P.; Ward, W.W.
Volume 18, Issue 1, 2003
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Journal: fifty years of radar
This review assumes that many non-US readers may not be well-informed about the steps and work in radar development in the US after WW II to the present. Many know MIT by name and recall the famous Radiation Laboratory Series. But the more recent technical history has been less in the "public domain." In an attempt to correct this, one of the key institutions in the field, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory two years ago produced a special issue of their regular publication. Although the document currently at hand is not a book in the strict sense, the size, shape, and editorial comprehensiveness of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Journal's Fifty-Year Anniversary Issue (12, 2, 2000) justifies calling this article being treated as a book review.

Eskelinen, P.
Volume 11, Issue 8, 1996
The story behind Finnish telecommunications industry: military radio systems and electronic warfare in Finland during World War II (1939-1945)
The growth of the Finnish telecommunications industry is not only based on the common Nordic need of talking to each other nor is it only dependent on the generally superior technical skills achieved through education but also has its tradition, which dates back to the years of WW II, when Finland was alone at the most critical moments of the nation's history and had to develop procedures and technologies to survive. From post-war documents, a connecting link can be found between key persons and organizations, which were once designing military electronics, but later adopted their know-how to the needs of public communications

Griffiths, H.; Willis, N.
Volume 46, Issue 4, 2010
Klein Heidelberg - The First Modern Bistatic Radar System
We present a description and analysis of the German WW2 bistatic radar system Klein Heidelberg (KH). A brief account is given of the nature of the electronic war between the Allied bombers and the German air defense system, to show the context in which the KH system evolved. This is followed by a description of the development of KH, a technical description, and an assessment of its performance. Next, a discussion of its operational significance, of what happened after WW2, and finally some conclusions and some lessons learned that may be relevant to the development of present-day bistatic radar systems. In particular, we show that its performance was impressive, yielding detection ranges of Allied bombers in excess of 300 km, but that it became operational too late in WW2 to significantly improve German air defense operations.

Groll, H.P.; Detlefsen, J.
Volume 12, Issue 8, 1997
History of automotive anticollision radars and final experimental results of a MM-Wave car radar developed by the Technical University of Munich
The history of development of automotive radars in different countries since 1972 is described using a short comparison of radar types. The authors indicate the planning of introduction of car radars in the near future according to information supplied by car companies. The purpose of the development of an automotive radar was to test different signal processing procedures both for distance and Doppler evaluation and also for a digital wavefront reconstruction to find out the angle position of a target. The block diagram, the main properties, the technical data of the radar system, the used antennas and the multiplexing of transmitting antennas is described. Finally some experimental results have been obtained under real traffic conditions

Leonov, A.I.
Volume 13, Issue 5, 1998
History of monopulse radar in the USSR
Monopulse radars have played an important role in air and missile defense systems since the development of the monopulse technique in the late 1940s. This paper outlines the application of monopulse radars in Russian defense systems, starting with the Moscow ABM system and continuing in instrumentation and air defense radars now widely deployed in Russia and elsewhere

Marshall, C.J.
Volume 4, Issue 6, 1989
There is always a beginning - history of sidelooking airborne radar
In this historical narrative, the initiative of a small group of innovators over thirty-five years ago is reviewed. The result of their efforts was the construction of a laboratory model of the first sidelooking airborne radar to be flown in the United States and its successful demonstration

McKinney, J.B.
Volume 21, Issue 8, 2006
The long prelude (1873-1922): Phase I of the invention of radar
Radar is a device which detects invisible or distant objects by means of reflected radio waves and is capable of locating them accurately in space. Radar can detect with the speed of light any object that will reflect its waves, whether in the sky, on the sea, or on land. It can literally almost see by means of its radio waves. More than that, it can determine the object's range, that is, the distance to it in miles and yards, with fantastic accuracy. Since the speed of the radio waves is a known constant, and since the radar receiver can measure, in millionths of a second, the time taken by the radiation from the radar's transmitter to reach the object and be reflected back, the distance can be determined in an inconceivable fraction of time, with accuracies measured in yards and even feet. The electromagnetic waves that are produced by a radar set are the same general type radio waves that are used for communications, radio broadcasting and television. There are differences, however, between radio and radar waves and these are primarily the greater amounts of radiated electrical power required by radar so that it can obtain a detectable return signal, and the special antennas required to concentrate the radar signal into a beam. Because of the radio background of radar, it is important to take a look at the early history of radio's development, since this history also provides an insight into the early history of radar. Many of the events that permitted radar to arrive when it did, and the many obstacles that kept it from arriving earlier, are also landmarks in the story of radio.

Menaker, E.G.
Volume 8, Issue 6, 1993
Making technology work in World War II
The role played during World War II by small band of airman, hidden from public knowledge in a remote part of China, in bringing about victory over Japan is examined. Their actions represented the first major uses of airborne radar by the United States. The ways in which the group dealt with the challenge of turning the new technology of radar, which had just emerged from the laboratory, into an unusually effective weapon, is described by an officer who was responsible for preparing for the first maintenance of the equipment, implementing the maintenance, and contributing the technical expertise to the planning and evaluation of the operation. The low-altitude radar bombsight, AN/APQ-5 (LAB), designed to provide an electronic analog to the Norden high-altitude optical bombsight, is also described.

Schantz, H.G.
Volume 19, Issue 4, 2004
A brief history of UWB antennas
This paper provides an historical overview of ultra-wideband antennas presenting key advances at the root of modern designs.

Sinnott, D.H.
Volume 20, Issue 11, 2005
Defense radar development in Australia: 1939 to the present
Defense radar research and development in Australia is today largely, but not exclusively, confined within Australia's Defense Science and Technology Organization, DSTO, and its R&D collaborators in universities. Radar has a long history in Australia, dating back to World War II links with British defense radar development, and radar R&D continues to be an important focus within DSTO. It is impossible, in the context of a brief conference paper, to give other than the broadest-brush picture of Australian radar development over a half-century or more. So the approach taken is necessarily highly selective and focuses specifically on several illustrative development projects, in an attempt to convey the flavor of national radar research priorities, the way they drive R&D and likely future directions. Despite the escalating requirement for a national skills base in defense radar and allied technologies, there are currently legitimate concerns about the robustness of this base. Recruitment of high-caliber researchers into the field of radar and management of radar research careers are issues currently presenting major challenges. A number of initiatives are in place linking DSTO with university research; a recent effort to enhance the stature and visibility of radar research in Australia is the establishment of the Centre of Expertise in Microwave Radar as a joint venture between DSTO and Adelaide University.