Radar Recollections - A Bournemouth University / CHiDE / HLF project


The Skiatron

Once Plan Position Indicators [PPI's] were available, efforts were made to project the images directly onto a larger working surface to facilitate the work of the WAAF plotters during action.
The Skiatron was a modified oscilloscope giving a particularly bright radar display.

The images could be projected upwards and the tube was mounted underneath a transparent [glass] plotting table. This equipment was quickly installed in the GCI stations.

Small blocks or counters were then moved [at regular intervals] to both identify the relative positions of both 'friend' and 'foe' but also to track the movements of squadrons and individual aeroplanes as the attack unfolded.

The Navy also adopted this tool and one was installed in the control room of HMS Ark Royal when she was in dry dock in Liverpool.

The role of the plotters was a critical one, the work was demanding and instructions to the pilots and information from the radar traces had to be rapidly and accurately interpreted by the ground controllers who generally were positioned around and above the plotting table; 'theatre-style'.

The Skiatron Display
The Skiatron Display