This subject is another optional module. It is part of the Senior/Staff Cadet exams and is currently being taught at the Squadron. This course starts with the basic principles of radio, the electo-magnetic spectrum, modulation (amplitude and frequency) followed by basic radio transmitters and receivers.
Once the radio principles have been mastered, the Cadets move on to basic radar. This starts off with a discussion on the history of target detection; the first attempts being to use sound which was first tried out during the First World War. With the advancement in aircraft design, in particular their increase in speed, another method of target detection was required, hence, RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) was born.
A simple pulse radar system is discussed, showing how targets are detected and how their range, bearing and height can then be determined. Various aerial systems are discussed with plenty of examples from ships, aircraft and ground based systems are shown to the Cadets – being on the edge of BAE Warton is certainly an advantage.
Different types of radar displays are discussed before piecing together a typical radar installation. Once again, various pictures of examples of radar installations are available from World War 2 ships, the RAF Phantom aircraft, Typhoons Captor radar (see Eurofighter World Issue 2010/03) and ground installations such as the old radar installation at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire and the new PAVE PAWSinstallation.
The Precision Approach Radar, the Instrument Landing System and TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation) are discussed finishing with the various communication systems that have been and are being used by the Royal Air Force.
A 25 question multiple-choice exam has to be taken at the end of this module in order to pass.
Various video clips are shown throughout, curteosy of the British Pathe Film Library. Although the film clips are old, some from the 1950’s and older, they help to reinforce the lessons adding that ‘old british style upper lip’ humour used so effectively by Harry Enfield. See the video clip below for a good example of what is available.