Steamer Point SRDE - Christchurch, Hampshire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Dragontree
N 50° 44.061 W 001° 43.558
30U E 589906 N 5621058
Quick Description: This area of Friars Cliff overlooking Christchurch was once a highly important research station using the first British satellites. SRDE used the site as a radar station from 1948 to 1980.
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/15/2011 1:13:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMBFG3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member kJfishman
Views: 5

Long Description:
There is a small pillar in the centre of the area with a plaque which reads:

'From the early days of the Second World War through until 1980, this area was the trials ground for the Ministry of Defence Signals Research and Development Establishment (SRDE), and the nearby concrete plinth was the foundation on which stood the first British military communication satellite station. On it was placed an aerial dish of 40 feet diameter which received and transmitted signals from the first launched British military satellite, it also tracked foreign satellites. Over the dish was a weatherproof covering called RADOME (shaped like a beehive) and the whole structure became a landmark for mariners for miles around.

Two similar structures were subsequently built and installed in Cyprus and Singapore and formed the beginning of the world-wide defence communication called Skynet.

In the early days of the Second World War this site saw secret radar developments for the Army and some twenty years later much of the early research on night vision was also done here. The Establishment was actively involved in the research into optical fibres for communication purposes - which have since produced profound benefits for world-wide telephone systems.

SRDE finally moved to Malvern in Worcestershire in 1980 and joined forces with the Royal Radar Establishment.'

The radar dishes were once covered in the RADOME structures, now long gone. The SRDE was able to continue its research with the RRE from 1980 as the two establishments merged to become the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE). As part of this new establishment important progress in radar, thermal imaging, liquid crystal displays and speech synthesis was made. More can be seen here: visit link

Related Web Sites: [Web Link]

Squadron number: Not listed

Served at this site :: Not listed

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twillin visited Steamer Point SRDE - Christchurch, Hampshire, UK 9/27/2018 twillin visited it