USAF technical report, by George Stanley

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Editor Note:

Author George recently came upon his USAF technical report which he wrote years ago during his assignment to a radar post in Germany that controlled the Berlin Corridor (Frankfurt to Berlin). He had cleverly modified the radar maintenance extra PPI (plan position indicator) display to generate the desired display. He drew a map of the Berlin Corridor, the border between East and West Germany and added several key air fields. He then had a photographic film negative overlay made.

The photo overlay film was black, except for transparent lines which represented the Berlin flight corridor and the other key features. This overlay was then positioned on the PPI. As the rotating sweep crossed those transparent lines, the blue light triggered the photo-multiplier tube, sending amplified pulses into the real operational display PPIs, thus adding an illuminated map of the Berlin corridor, and other key points for the radar operators. Previously the operator needed to relay range and azimuth coordinates to a plotting board to locate the plane's position. This new approach worked so well that the Air Force asked George to make another unit for another radar site.

Luckily, George had access to a series of books known as "The Rad Lab Series" that contained all the radar information known at the end of WWII. In it he found key information that made his novel approach possible. It circumvented trying to get the manufacturer to create an upgrade. For this, George marched out at a Memorial Day ceremonial event at Ramstein Air Base, with massed troops and overflights by jets, to be awarded the Military Commendation Medal. Quite an experience for a 24 year old AF lieutenant. No wonder HP hired him some years later.






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