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"Jamming" Enemies'
 Radar His Objective

William G. Dow
The Michigan Alumnus 197

PROFESSOR William G. Dow, 
 M.S.E/29, specialist in electronics 
at the University, was one of the group
 of Allied scientists who devised ways
 to make German and Japanese radar 
systems virtually ineffective during the 
crucial moments of the war. He 
served for two and a half years in the 
Radio Research Laboratory at Harvard University and, under the utmost
 secrecy, he supervised the development of new vacuum tubes and trans
mitters which were used to jam the
 enemy radar in the manner that an
 electric razor ruins radio reception in 
homes. 


The laboratory, directed by Dr. F. 
E. Terman, Dean of Engineering at
 Stanford University, was the center of 
research on anti-radar devices, and the
 most spectacular part of Dow's work 
involved supervising the work of a 
group of physicists and radio engineers 
engaged in designing and constructing 
a giant 125-ton land-based jammer
 called "tuba", which had an antenna
 150 feet long. Three of these huge
 units were delivered to the British, and 
Professor Dow was sent to England to
 assist in preparing the equipment for 
use. 


Electronic jamming of the enemy
 radar required the use of new ultra-
high frequency, continuous wave, 
transmitter type vacuum tubes. In
 this connection, Professor Dow was
 called upon to guide the industrial de
velopment work on these new type 
tubes and the transmitters employing 
them. He also supervised a small
 vacuum tube research laboratory devoted to canvassing entirely new or
 unexplored methods of producing continuous wave power at desired high 
frequencies. 


Professor Dow and his associates 
conducted the first full-power tests on 
a high-power continuous wave vacuum 
tube called the "resnatron", and these
 tests disclosed the great improvement
 of the new tube over other such tubes.