www.radartutorial.eu Radar Basics

Origin of the term “radar”

Figure 1: Letter from ADM H. R. Stark with the direction, to use the abbreviation “radar” hereafter.

Figure 1: Letter from ADM H. R. Stark with the direction, to use the abbreviation “radar” hereafter.

Origin of the term “radar”

The word “radar” was coined from “radio detection and ranging,” one of the titles used by NRL for this field of work, by LCDR F. R. Furth and LCDR S. M. Tucker, who shared in responsibility for the Navy's original procurement program. LCDR Furth (later RADM Furth) and LCDR Tucker (later RADM Tucker), while on duty at the Navy Department, devised the acronym and took action to put it into effect. The above Letter, dated 10 Nov 1940, signed by ADM H. R. Stark, then the Chief of Naval Operations, made the word official. Later, both LCDR Furth and LCDR Tucker, as Captains, became directors of NRL (CAPT Furth, 1949 to 1952, CAPT Tucker 1955 to 1956). CAPT Furth became the Chief of Naval Research as ADM Furth (1954 to 1956). The word radar quickly came into general use, although the British retained the terms “radiolocation” and “RDF” for their work in this field until 1943, when “radar” was adopted though international agreement.

Source: Louis A. Gebhard, in 'Evolution of Naval Radio-electronics and Contributions of the Naval Research Laboratory' 1979, page 170 (printed) or page 186 (pdf-version online)