Birth of Radio Astronomy

  • Jacob W. M. Baars
  • Hans J. Kärcher
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 447)


In Germany in 1904, Christian Hülsmeyer used a copy of Hertz’s apparatus to demonstrate the reception of radiation reflected from a ship, thereby introducing a first primitive version of radar, albeit without range information. In the early years of the twentieth century, the ingenious inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937) was instrumental in the development of radio communication and broadcasting at long wavelengths of deca- and hectometres. The antennas were wire dipoles. In the early 1930s, Marconi used parabolic dishes of 3 m diameter in a demonstration of telephony across the English Channel at a frequency near 1.7 GHz. Radar was developed in several countries in the late 1930s and was put to use intensely in World War II, using paraboloidal reflectors at decimetre wavelengths. Great secrecy surrounded these latter activities.


Backup Structure (BUS) Slewing Bearing radarRadar Elevated Presence Dwingeloo Telescope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bolton, J.G.: Radio astronomy with Australian 210-foot telescope. Proc. IEEE. 51, 1464–1470 (1963)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bowen, E.G., Minnett, H.C.: The Australian 210-ft radio telescope. J. Br. IRE. 23, 49–53 (1962)Google Scholar
  3. Christiansen, W.N., Hindman, J.V.: A preliminary survey of 1420 Mc/s line emission from galactic hydrogen. Aust. J. Sci. Res. A5, 437–455 (1952)ADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Ewen, H.I., Purcell, E.M.: Radiation from galactic hydrogen at 1420 Mc/s. Nature. 168, 356 (1951)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fanning, W.R.: Mechanical design of the Haystack antenna. Design and construction of large steerable aerials. IEE Conf. Publ. 21, 100–104 (1966)Google Scholar
  6. Findlay, J.W.: The 300-foot radio telescope at Green Bank. Sky Telescope. 25, 68 (1963)ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Ingalls, R.P., et al.: Upgrading the Haystack radio telescope for operation at 115 GHz. Proc. IEEE. 82, 742–755 (1994)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jansky, K.G.: Eletrical disturbances apparently of extraterrestrial origin. Proc. IRE. 21, 1387–1398 (1933)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kiepenheuer, K.O.: Cosmic rays as the source of general galactic radio emission. Phys. Rev. 79, 738–739 (1950)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lockman, F.J., Ghigo, F.D., Balse, D.S.: But it was fun – the first forty years of radio astronomy at Green Bank. NRAO, Green Bank (2007)Google Scholar
  11. Lovell, A.C.B.: The Jodrell Bank radio telescope. Nature. 180, 60–62 (1957)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lovell, B.: The Jodrell Bank telescopes. Oxford University Press, New York (1985)Google Scholar
  13. Lovell, B., Husband, H.C.: Blue Book (1951). Downloadable from Jodrell Bank Observatory site:
  14. Muller, C.A., Oort, J.H.: The interstellar hydrogen line at 1420 Mc/s and an estimate of galactic rotation. Nature. 168, 357–358 (1951)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pederzoni, T.: Radiosternwarte Stockert. Telefunken Zeitung. 29(113), 157–181 (1956)Google Scholar
  16. Reber, G.: Cosmic static. Proc. IRE. 28, 68–70 (1940a)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Reber, G.: Cosmic static. Astrophys. J. 91, 621–624 (1940b)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Robinson, P.: An Australian icon – planning and construction of the Parkes telescope. Science with Parkes @ 50 years young (2011)Google Scholar
  19. Shklovski, I.S.: On the nature of the radio radiation of the Galaxy. Astron. Zh. (Russ). 29, 418–449 (1952)ADSGoogle Scholar
  20. Small, M.M.: The new 140-foot radio telescope. Sky Telescope. 30, 267 (1965)ADSGoogle Scholar
  21. van de Hulst, H.C.: Radiogolven uit het wereldruim. Nederlands Tijdchrift voor Natuurkunde. 11, 210–221 (1945)Google Scholar
  22. van de Hulst, H.C., et al.: De radiosterrenwacht te Dwingeloo. de Ingenieur. 69(3), 1–20 (1957)Google Scholar
  23. von Hoerner, S., Wong, W.-Y.: Gravitational deformation and astigmatism of tiltable radio telescopes. IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. AP-23, 689–695 (1975)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Weiss, H.G.: Performance measurements on the Haystack antenna. Design and construction of large steerable aerials. IEE Conf. Publ. 21, 95–99 (1966)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob W. M. Baars
    • 1
  • Hans J. Kärcher
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für RadioastronomieBonnGermany
  2. 2.MT Mechatronics - consultantKarbenGermany

Personalised recommendations