www.radartutorial.eu www.radartutorial.eu Radar Basics

Figure 1: View of the version of the first backup of the homepage on members.tripod.de/radargrundlagen

Figure 1: View of the version of the first backup of the homepage on members.tripod.de/radargrundlagen

History of the homepage “Radartutorial”

The history of the homepage “Radartutorial” began in 1998 during a course at the Technical School of the German Air Force in Lechfeld (Bavaria). It was a very mixed course with beginners and participants with engineering diplomas. The beginners were severely disadvantaged and often could not follow the discussions between the graduated engineers. Even the personal written summaries had a very different quality. Of course, we helped each other in a comradely way as well as possible. Initially, only the summaries were made available to each other to complete their own notes if necessary.

In the evening, I began to expand my notes on the computer with the help of my previous knowledge, that they became comprehensible even to comrades who found the topic incomprehensible. These files were exchanged on a floppy disk then. The storage capacity of the disk was quickly exhausted. Suddenly, the idea came to not create such huge MS Word files but to use the much more economical HTML format. That could also read those comrades who used a Macintosh. I got help from my son, who was already enthusiastic about computer technology as a schoolboy and taught me this technology. It was only a small step to put these training aids on the internet as a virtual course. The teachers were not enthusiastic about it. They also argued that this homepage could be a betrayal of secrets. The company commander then even examined the case officially. The then security master of the school checked the internet address to check how big the offense was. On 17.11.1998 I was told: What I wrote on the internet is harmless! During my remaining service, there were various reactions from the superiors: partly with great praise (also with a cash bonus); sometimes very negatively with the view that a soldier should not use the Internet. This was subsequently examined by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces of the German Parliament. It led to the confirmation that even a soldier has the constitutional right to free publication. Of course with the restriction that I should not reveal any secrets. This was then eagerly monitored by various services.

At first, I tried to continue the maintenance of the homepage even after my retirement from my former office. Unfortunately, I have not found anyone who would be willing to continue this. Even the Technical School of the German Air Force rejected this, arguing that the effort would be too high to change the CSS file of this homepage to the corporate design of the German Bundeswehr.

Figure 2: View of the old homepage on www.itnu.de

Figure 2: View of the old homepage on www.itnu.de

Own Domain Names

The first years were used a free provider. The domain was called http://mitglied.tripod.de/radargrundlagen/. (The free offer has certainly paid off through the banner ads that ran across the screen.) The relatively complicated name was difficult to convey verbally. However, very soon Google was able to find this page via the search term “Radar Basics”. From the beginning, the site was in first place in the Google search list.

Since the banner of the free provider was very intrusive, a separate domain was searched. Unfortunately, it was a common bad habit then to reserve any domain name and then try to sell that domain name. Therefore, instead of www.radargrundlagen.de I dodged on the name http://www.itnu.de/radargrundlagen/. The abbreviation ITNU meant here „IngenieurTechnische NutzerUnterstützung“ (technical user support by engineers) and was the name of my office. At the suggestion of trainers of the Lufthansa Aviation School, the homepage was translated into the English language. That was the start of the international success of this homepage.

With the introduction of the top-level domain «.eu» I was able to move to the current domain http://www.radartutorial.eu/ in November 2005. This also marked a fundamental change in design: The homepage became barrier-free step by step. It already had a dark background but the menu bar was still generated by Javascript. This was a major obstacle for business computers with Javascript disabled for security reasons. Therefore, this menu has been completely converted to CSS.

Wikipedia

At first, I was very enthusiastic about Wikipedia and started copying entire pages of my homepage into Wikipedia. The enthusiasm followed the disillusionment. Often statements, just because they were shown in the English Wikipedia as true, were also adopted in the German Wikipedia and administratively defended against attempts to change. For example, it says in Wikipedia that Robert Wattson-Watt had allegedly invented the radar and that the magnetron was a purely British development. The danger of such a community project as Wikipedia is that instead of the state of knowledge, only the common prejudices of an ignorant majority are represented.

Figure 3: Current view of the homepage on www.radartutorial.eu

So I almost completely stopped my activities on Wikipedia. Only now and then does come again an occasional period of edits when somebody stubbornly tries to document his ignorance. Sometimes this produces really good articles, such as the article about the continuous wave radar, which is actually just a summary of the CW and FMCW radar pages of this homepage. My homepage has become a reference for Wikipedia. The number of so-called “backlinks” from the internet is overwhelming. The number of visitors to this homepage is much higher than the number of visitors to the corresponding Wikipedias pages.

25th Anniversary

When exactly the homepage “Radar Basics” was created on the Internet, cannot be determined with certainty today. The backup copies that were saved on a floppy disk at this point in time are no longer legible and have long since been disposed of. The homepage initializing course took place from 20.10.1998 to 11.05.1999. The homepage was created during the first lesson phase, “Radar Basics”, which took place during the first 4 weeks. The first big backup on a CD is from 30.01.1999, so currently almost 20 years old. That is why the homepage will celebrate its 25th anniversary in November 2023.

Covid-19 live

The current pandemic, unfortunately, prevents presentation events. Due to my age and my previous illnesses, I am one of the endangered persons. Therefore I have to cancel invitations to courses. However, I am currently working on the production of a series of instructional videos based on the training objectives recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the training of air traffic control personnel as a substitute and making them available for download on a powerful server.

Generalzolldirektion

Figure 3: Retirement of a soldier

Figure 3: Retirement of a soldier

The author of the text has always made sure that his income from sponsoring the radar tutorial and lecturing does not exceed the maximum limits for a part-time job for a retired soldier, which has caused him to turn down profitable offers for running training courses. However, he received income from the sale of a book in one year, which led to the Directorate General of Customs accusing him of receiving an overpayment, resulting in his pension being partially reclaimed.

According to §56 of the German Soldiers' Pension Act, paragraph 3, sentence 2, number 6, income from literary, scientific, artistic, or lecturing activities should not be counted as income for the calculation of a maximum limit, with reference to §20 of the Soldiers' Act, paragraph 6, sentence 1, number 2. Unfortunately, the Directorate General of Customs couldn't differentiate between this and only requested the tax assessment notice as a basis for its decisions. After several correspondences with them, the accusations were dropped.

Although the author's argument was legally straightforward, he received no legal protection from the legal department of the Bundeswehrverband (a kind of trade union). They acted more like a lawyer for the other party and only suggested that he should accept the offer of partial payment. This prompted him to leave the Bundeswehrverband and seek the advice of a civilian lawyer specializing in civil service law, which proved to be more beneficial.

I cannot recommend young people to join the German Bundeswehr. While it was a great experience and the camaraderie was unforgettable, there is life after the Bundeswehr. The Ministry and the Directorate General of Customs, as the executors, have nothing else to do all day but look for ways to somehow reduce your retirement benefits!