Airways Traffic Computer - 'Rodoniscope'
The problem was for the Flight Checking Officer (FCO - as Air Traffic Controllers were then known) to quickly determine when a faster aircraft would draw closer than 10 minutes to the aircraft in front, or when aircraft flying in opposite directions would pass.
solution was presented in 1944 by a Sydney Flight Checking Officer, Mr Norman
Rodoni, who invented a form of computer known as the Airways Traffic Computer
Fast aircraft appeared on the outside of the disk, slower ones toward the centre. Thus it was possible to tell when a fast aircraft would overtake a slower one.
The limitation of this system was the speed and accuracy of plotting aircraft position reports, which were relayed to the FCO by Aeradio.
Mr Rodoni's simple invention halved the number of controllers needed, and was more accurate than other, more cumbersome, methods of control. Despite its officially agreed merits, it was not until 1950 that he was finally paid £200 by the Public Service Board and a further £250 by the War Inventions Committee.
(Photo: CAHS collection)
|< Click on the image at left to see a photo of the Rodoniscope in use.|
|Click on the image at right to read more about the life of Norm Rodoni >|