JED - MARCH 2016 - (Page 48)

SIGINT History Beyond the Call of Duty By Martin Streetly The target of DV819's sortie on December 3, 1942 was the German FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC AI radar, the antenna array for which is shown here mounted on the nose of a Junkers Ju 88 night-fighter (USAF) The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2016 48 E very now and then, the frequently humdrum nature of SIGINT collection is punctuated by a 'blood and guts' effort to find or verify a vital piece of information. An early example of such an operation that was 'above and beyond the call of duty' occurred on the night of December 3, 1942 when a British Royal Air Force (RAF) 'ferret' aircraft provided conclusive proof that the Germans were using airborne interception (AI) radar (in the form of the FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC equipment) to hunt down British night bombers attacking the Reich. Stepping back, British intelligence had first become aware of the possibility that the German's had an operational AI radar when its 'Y' (radio intercept) - Service began to pick-up references to something called Emil-Emil in night-fighter radio traffic during the spring of 1942. During the following October, a listening post in Norfolk, England recorded a 490 MHz pulse transmission that was identified as having come from a fastmoving aircraft. While this signal was deemed to be of German origin, there was no way of telling whether or not the `fast mover' from which it originated was a night-fighter or some other sort of platform. Accordingly, the RAF's offshore 'ferret' unit (No 1474 Flight) was tasked with dispatching its aircraft to "trail their coats in-front of the enemy" in the hope that one of them would be attacked and survive to record whether or not the attack could be positively linked to the mystery 490 MHz signal. In all, 1474 Flight is understood to have flown 18 of these 'coat trailing' exercises before success was finally achieved in December. On that night, 1474's Wellington B Mk IC aircraft tail number DV819 lifted off from its base in Cambridgeshire, England at around two in the morning and headed out across northern France to the Frankfurt area of western Germany in the hope of being intercepted by a radar-equipped enemy night-fighter. At around half past four (and at approximately 49.54 N; 07.39 E), DV819's 'special operator' (SO - Pilot

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - MARCH 2016

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Detecting Next-Generation Emitters
Technology Survey: TWTs and MPMs
SIGINT History
EW 101
AOC News
2016 AOC Industry Member Guide
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - MARCH 2016