Doppler Radar History

Doppler Radar History

Radar was initially theorized and investigated in the early 1920's by Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. Research at a variety of institutions in the U.S. and the U.K. lead to Robert Wilson-Watt creating the first pulsed radio wave system in 1935.

Radar developed rapidly during the Second World War. During this time, it was noticed that the radar beam also echoed from precipitation. This proved to be a valuable tool in dictating military operations.

After the war ended, de-classification allowed for a wider range of interested parties to experiment with radar technology. During the 1950's the original weather service radar was deployed, primarily for the study of tornadoes.

It has only been in recent years that Doppler radar data has come into widespread everyday use. This is directly attributable to the advent of computers which are capable of handling the vast amounts of data now constantly gathered by such systems as the National Weather Service's NEXRAD system, which consites of 125 WSR-88D doppler radar staions across the country

References and more information:

Radio to Radar National Weather Service
Overview of the WSR-88D Doppler Radar System National Weather Service
General History of Radar - About.com