Essendon Type 276 Experimental Radar - 1950s

Rod Harriss operating the 276 experimental radar at Melbourne/Essendon. The radar display had to be kept in a darkened room so that the operator could see the radar returns (aircraft) on the cathode ray tube display. The radar display was located in a hut above the radar head at the south-western corner of the aerodrome, roughly abeam the threshold of Runway 08.

Although hard to see in this screen reproducion, the stylus he is holding is connected by wires to sensors which relayed its position electro-mechanically to a 'daylight plotter' in the Tower as he traced the path of the radar return. Under the controller's left hand is a button that energised a stylus in the daylight plotter and caused the radar return's position to be plotted.

Above the radar console is a Philliphone, an intercom to the Tower.

The date of this photo is not known exactly, but the Type 276 radar was in service at Essendon from approximately 1950 to 1956.

Click here to see a photo of the standardised long-range Thomson-CSF radar installed from the early 1960s

(Photo: CAHS collection)

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