Weather and wireless

Published transcription of the G J Symons Memorial Lecture given by Robert Watson-Watt.

Date: Published in 1929
Publication: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Volume 55, Number 231, Pages 273-301.

This article is an example of Robert Watson-Watt's early work in the area of meteorology and wireless communications.

Watson-Watt explains his interest in wireless phenomena and its relationship with meteorology. He declares why he thinks wireless communication is an effective tool for weather forecasting.

He stresses the importance of weather forecasting for air pilots and states: "...but as I have indicated, the long-distance air navigator is the man whose success and whose life alike depend on accurate reporting and forecasting'.

Watson-Watt outlines some of the problems with weather affecting wireless communications and how these problems are being overcome. He describes research and observations being done at the time. He gives details of the sources of atmospherics from all over the world and states that broadcasting has no effect on the weather.

The article is illustrated with various charts, maps, graphs and photographs detailing this research, including:

- Map of Britain and synoptic chart transmitted and received by wireless on March 20 by fultograph, an early version of the wireless fax machine.

- Fringes produced by changing transmitted wavelengths from Appleton's experiments

- Oscillographic records of short-wave signals which have travelled once and twice round the earth in addition to traversing the direct route

- Cathode ray direction finder installation- black and white photographs.