Watson-Watt, Robert Alexander (1892–1973)
Robert Watson-Watt was a Scottish physicist largely responsible for the development of radar,
patenting his first 'radiolocator' in 1919. He perfected his equipment and
techniques from 1935 through the years of World War II, his radar being
largely responsible for the British victory in the Battle of Britain. Watson-Watt
was a descendant of James Watt, inventor
of the practical steam engine. He adopted his double-barreled name after
receiving his knighthood.
Watson-Watt studied at St Andrews University, taught at Dundee University, and in 1917 worked in the Meteorological Office, designing devices to locate thunderstorms, and investigating the ionosphere (a term he coined in 1926). He became head of the radio section of the National Physical Laboratory (1935), where he began work on locating aircraft.