75 years of radar

Brought to you by The Wireless Heritage Group

We are pleased to announce that for our fourth meeting, the Wireless Heritage SIG will review 75 years of mobile and fixed radar technology, including a tour of the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

From the earliest years of the Second World War, radar has been an essential part of the UK defence armoury and has provided the foundation for component and systems expertise that now spans the whole radio spectrum from VHF to E band.

Civilian radar including air traffic control and weather radar has developed in parallel and has become an essential part of our modern life. And your next car will probably have 77 GHz collision avoidance radar.

It is easy to underestimate the crucial role that radar component and system innovation has played and will continue to play in the growth of our defence and consumer economy.

This process is ongoing. Present generation radar systems deliver unprecedented range and resolution but this is only the beginning of a profound technology revolution. This includes the application of leading edge digital signal processing and algorithmic innovation with potential applications that extend far beyond present radar and radio systems.

You can follow @cambwireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWWH.


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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration and networking with refreshments


Introduction to Wireless Heritage SIG from Nigel Wall, Climate Associates


Welcome from event host, Beth Condie, Curator and Manager, RAF Air Defence Radar Museum


75 years of radar and electronic warfare in the UK; Steve Roberts, VP Strategy, Airborne & Space Systems Division, Selex ES Ltd

The operational use of the UK’s Chain Home radar system in the Battle of Britain was the first time in which radar made a significant contribution to the outcome of military operations. Within 5 years, radar technology had advanced to the point where a wide range of platforms were using radar to detect and intercept other platforms, transforming the way in which air operations were performed. At the same time, a new of activity was developed to prevent the enemy from gaining the benefits of using their radars – this was the start of Electronic Warfare in the radar frequency bands. In the Cold War period that lasted for the next 45 years, the capabilities of radar were further developed to allow control of guided weapons and to assist in the navigation and flight of manned platforms. This in turn presented new challenges for the Electronic Warfare countermeasures. Many of the recent radar and EW products would be recognisable to the pioneers in the fields, but some of the processing and technologies employed to enable the performance would not have been imaginable at the point in the 1930s when they developed Chain Home. The story of radar and electronic warfare will be illustrated by descriptions and operational stories of the equipment developed in the UK by such famous companies as Ferranti and Marconi. The heritage of these companies lives in Selex ES, which are now the UK’s leading supplier of airborne radar and EW.




Lunch and networking


Tour of museum


Free to continue looking round museum or depart


Steve Roberts - VP Strategy, Leonardo

SIG Champions

Stirling Essex - Director, Espansivo

Stirling Essex has over 25 years of product development, product management, strategic marketing and business development experience in many areas of wireless technology, and has been intimately involved in the development of test systems for GSM, CDMA (IS-95), 3G (W-CDMA) and LTE. He founded Espansivo, a technology consultancy specialising in helping organisations with their technology, product and business decisions, in 2005. Stirling was previously a co-champion of the CW Future Wide Area Wireless Special Interest Group and and was a member of the CW Board from 2004 to 2015.

Andy Sutton - BT Fellow & Principal Network Architect, BT

Andy Sutton is a BT Fellow and Principal Network Architect for Wireless Access. The wireless access domain includes 4G/5G RAN architecture and mobile backhaul/xhaul, along with microwave and millimetre wave radio systems, and satellite communications. Andy holds an MSc in Mobile Communications from the University of Salford and has over 35 years of experience within the telecommunications industry. Andy’s current research interests include advanced RAN coordination techniques, including C-RAN and OpenRAN, optical fibre and radio based backhaul/xhaul, along with LEO satellite communications and High-altitude Platform Systems (HAPS), all in the context of building resilient heterogeneous networks. Andy holds the post of Visiting Professor of Telecommunications at the University of Liverpool and the University of Salford, he is a Chartered Engineer and holds Fellowships from the IET, ITP and BCS. Andy sits on the editorial board of the ITP Journal and is a CW SIG Champion for eMBB and Wireless Heritage.

Geoff Varrall - Director, RTT Online

Geoff Varrall joined RTT in 1985 as an executive director and shareholder to develop RTT's international business as a provider of technology and business services to the wireless industry. He co-developed RTT's original series of design and facilitation workshops including 'RF Technology', 'Data Over Radio', 'Introduction to Mobile Radio', and 'Private Mobile Radio Systems and developed 'The Oxford programme', a five day strategic technology and market programme presented annually between 1991 and 2005. Geoff has been running in depth technology and market workshops for the industry for over 33 years, spanning five generations of mobile cellular technology. A co-author of the Mobile Radio Servicing Handbook (Heinemann Butterworth, UK), Data Over Radio, (Quantum Publishing, Mendocino, USA and 3G Handset and Network Design (John Wiley, New York). Geoff's fourth book, Making Telecoms Work – from technical innovation to commercial success (John Wiley) was published in early 2012 followed by 5G Spectrum and Standards published by Artech House in July 2016. His latest book 5G and Satellite Spectrum Standards and Scale is now available from Artech House and can be ordered from http://uk.artechhouse.com/5G-and-Satellite-Spectrum-Standards-and-Scale-P1935.aspx. As a past Director of Cambridge Wireless, Geoff is actively involved in a number of wireless heritage initiatives that aim to capture and record past technology and engineering experience and is a patron of the Science Museum In his spare time he plays Jazz trumpet semi-professionally and is a marathon and ultra-runner.

Nigel Wall - Director, Climate Associates Ltd

Nigel has been involved with connected vehicle research since 1992 when he led BT’s mobile data research team – initially using modems on first generation analogue TACS mobile phones! Since 2001 he has provided consultancy complex-systems, with a primary specialism in connected vehicles. He acted as the Monitoring Officer for twelve of the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle research projects supported by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. Climate Associates provides consultancy on delivering pragmatic sustainable systems and services, based on life cycle assessments where wholesale replacement of current systems with lower footprint solutions may not be the most sustainable option.

Event Location

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Location info

RAF Air Defence Radar Museum, Birds Lane, Horning, Norfolk, NR12 8YB

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