Sir Robert Watson-Watt(1892-1973), Pioneer of radar
Sitter in 19 portraits
In 1935 Watson-Watt, who had previously worked in the Meteorological Office and at the National Physical Laboratory, was appointed to lead a team to design practical systems of locating aircraft by radio waves. He developed a theory proposed by his assistant, A.F. Wilkins, for detecting aircraft with reflected radio waves; between 1935 and 1940 he supervised its transformation into the sophisticated radar defence system which largely contributed to the success of the RAF in the ability to locate incoming aircraft on the attack in all conditions and was a decisive factor in the Battle of Britain (1940), further applications included airborne and maritime radar and an identification device for friendly targets.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below