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British Industrial History

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Radio Research Station

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1920 the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) formed the Radio Research Board to undertake research into radio science. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Jackson was appointed to lead the Board

Work was conducted at the National Physical Laboratory, in universities, by Meteorological Office staff at Aldershot, and on an Admiralty site at Slough.

1924 The embryonic radio research station was established at Ditton Park, Slough. It went on to become a high-quality scientific establishment, led by eminent scientists such as Sir Edward Appleton, Robert Watson-Watt, Robert Naismith and Reginald Leslie Smith-Rose.

1927 Work at Slough was amalgamated with that of the radio section of the National Physical Laboratory, with Watson Watt as superintendent at Slough, an outstation of the NPL.

1933 the staff directly controlled by DSIR, principally at Teddington and Slough, were united administratively to form a new Radio Department of the National Physical Laboratory.

The Radio Research Station (as it became known) was home to the invention of radar by Robert Watson-Watt and authoritative studies on ionospheric science.

1946 the Radio Research Board drew up a research programme and recommended that a new and separate Radio Research Station be created to carry it out. It was decided to create a separate Radio Research Organisation to absorb and develop the work of the National Physical Laboratory's Radio Division, and the superintendent of the division was appointed director of radio research.

1946 the Board took over from the Ministry of Supply the research on ultra-short wavelength radio.

1947 the Board also took over responsibility for generic work on radio conducted at that ministry's Telecommunications Research Establishment. Work continued to be conducted there and at the National Physical Laboratory until the new Radio Research Station was opened at Slough in June 1957.

1950s The research was directed more to space science research

1965 The station was transferred to the Science Research Council and renamed the Radio and Space Research Station.

The station's work involved the study of radio waves, standards of measurement of physical quantities important in radio communication, and space research.

1973 It became the Appleton Laboratory

1979 merged with the Rutherford Laboratory at Chilton in Oxfordshire.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Archive of Radio Research Station [1]