In 1935, Robert Watson-Watt, the Superintendent of a new radio department at NPL, presented his report ‘The Detection of Aircraft by Radio Methods’ to the newly formed committee for the scientific survey of air defence. A trial followed using the BBC’s short-wave radio transmitter at Daventry against a Heyford Bomber. The trial was a success and resulted in the design and installation of a chain of radar stations along the East and South coast of England in time for the outbreak of war in 1939.
Today NPL is working on the next generation of communication networks, 5G, which is expected to operate at frequencies above 6 GHz. It will support a significantly increased user density and have seamless connectivity, low energy consumption and greater capacity than the current 4G networks. Our research includes antennas, sensor networks, signal propagation and resilience of the network.
NPL establishes the measurement infrastructure that gives consumers confidence in communication technology.
Discover more about NPL's work on 5G