Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Searchlight Experimental Establishment

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The Searchlight Experimental Establishment (SLEE)

WWI A small research department was formed for the modification and improvement of the searchlights and other equipment used by the Corps of London Electrical Engineers. After the war, this department became the Searchlight Experimental Establishment, Royal Engineers.

1917 The establishment was founded on Woolwich Common to conduct anti‐aircraft weapons and searchlight research.

1919 SLEE took over sound-ranging and location research, and developed the acoustic mirror air-defence system.

1924 Renamed the Air Defence Experimental Establishment (ADEE); moved to Biggin Hill.

1936 ADEE released the aircraft acoustic location system for operational use by RAF.

1939 ADEE moved to Christchurch and became the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE).

A radio-location system for coastal artillery was developed for detecting ships, which was then adapted for detection of low‐flying aircraft. A gun‐laying radio-locator, developed by ADEE, entered service for control of anti‐aircraft fire.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • History of MOD Innovation [1]