Radar station at 'Chain Home', England, 1940-1945.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This was one of the first types of radar station in the British defence system. Radar (radio detection and ranging) revolutionised British offensive and defensive capability in World War II, playing a vital role in locating incoming German bomber formations during the Battle of Britain in 1940. It worked by bouncing powerful, ultra-short radio waves (microwaves) off distant objects. These men and women are working in the Chain Home receiver room with Console (right) and Receivers (left). There were two main types of radar station known as the East Coast and West Coast types. The former was characterised by 360 ft high self-supporting transmitting towers. The latter used 325 ft high guyed steel transmitting masts.