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Encyclopedia > Chaff (radar countermeasure)
Modern US Navy RR-129 and RR-124 chaff countermeasures and containers

Chaff, originally called Window by the British, and Düppel by the WWII era German Luftwaffe, is a radar countermeasure in which aircraft or other targets spread a cloud of small, thin pieces of aluminium, metallised glass fibre or plastic, which either appears as a cluster of secondary targets on radar screens or swamps the screen with multiple returns. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... German soldiers at the Battle of Stalingrad World War II was the most extensive and costly armed conflict in the history of the world, involving the great majority of the worlds nations, being fought simultaneously in several major theatres, and costing tens of millions of lives. ... This or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This long range radar antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll. ... RNAFs F-16, firing countermeasures (flares) during a solo display at Radom Air Show 2005 A countermeasure is a system (usually for a military application) designed to prevent sensor-based weapons from acquiring and/or destroying a target. ... General Name, Symbol, Number aluminium, Al, 13 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 13, 3, p Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 26. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Modern armed forces use chaff (in naval applications, for instance, using short-range SRBOC rockets) to distract radar-guided missiles from their targets. Most military aircraft and warships have chaff dispensing systems for self-defense. An intercontinental ballistic missile may release in its midcourse phase several independent warheads, a large number of decoys, and chaff. The Mark 36 Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures (abbreviated as SRBOC or Super-RBOC) is a short-range rocket intended to launch chaff within the vicinity of naval vessels, with the purpose of foiling anti-shipping missiles. ... It has been suggested that Guided missile be merged into this article or section. ... A Minuteman III ICBM test launch from Vandenberg AFB, California, United States. ... A Lockheed MC-130 releasing 2x1 Inch MTV decoy flares A (decoy) flare is an aerial countermeasure to counter an infrared-guided surface-to-air missile (SAM) or air-to-air missile (AAM). ...


Chaff can also be used to signal distress by an aircraft when communications are not functional. This has the same effect as an SOS, and can be picked up on radar. It is done by dropping chaff every 2 minutes. A distress signal is an internationally recognized means of obtaining help by using a radio, displaying a visual object or making noise from a distance. ... Look up aircraft in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Communication is a process that allows people to exchange information by one of several methods. ...

Contents

World War II

The idea of using chaff was independently developed in the UK, Germany, and the United States.


As far back as 1937, R. V. Jones had suggested that a piece of metal foil falling through the air might create radar echoes. In early 1942, a TRE researcher named Joan Curran had investigated the idea and come up with a scheme for dumping packets of aluminum strips from aircraft to generate a cloud of false echoes.[1] The British referred to the idea as Window. Meanwhile in Germany, similar research had led to the development of Düppel. In the US, Fred Whipple developed a similar system (according to Harvard Gazette Archives) for the USAAF. 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Reginald Victor Jones (September 28th, 1911-December 17th, 1997) was an English physicist and scientific intelligence expert. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... The Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) was established in Malvern, England in 1940 as the central research group for RAF applications of radar. ... Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ... Fred Lawrence Whipple (November 5, 1906–August 30, 2004) was an American astronomer. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) was a part of the U.S. Army during World War II. The direct precursor to the U.S. Air Force, the USAAF formally existed between 1941 and 1947. ...

A Lancaster dropping chaff (the crescent-shaped white cloud on the left of the picture)
A Lancaster dropping chaff (the crescent-shaped white cloud on the left of the picture)

The systems were all essentially identical in concept, small aluminum strips cut to one-half of the target radar's wavelength. When dropped, the strips would give a strong echo, appearing as a bomber on radar screens. Opposing defenses would find it almost impossible to pick out the "real" bombers from the false echos. Other radar-confusing techniques included Mandrel, Piperack, and Jostle. Image File history File linksMetadata Window_-_Lancaster_Dropping_Window. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Window_-_Lancaster_Dropping_Window. ... The Avro Lancaster was a British four-engine Second World War bomber aircraft made initially by Avro for the British Royal Air Force (RAF). ... Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ...


Then something odd happened: no one used it. Unaware of the opposing air force's knowledge of the chaff concept, planners felt that using it was even more dangerous than not: as soon as it was used the enemy could easily duplicate it and use it against them. In particular the British government's leading scientific adviser, Professor Lindemann, balefully pointed out that if the RAF used it against the Germans, the Luftwaffe would quickly copy it and could launch a new Blitz. This caused panic in Fighter Command and Anti-Aircraft Command, who managed to suppress the use of Window until July 1943. Professor Frederick Alexander Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell (April 5, 1886 - July 3, 1957) was a physicist who became an influential scientific adviser to the British government and a close associate of Winston Churchill. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... This or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Look up Blitz in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Fighter Command was one of three functional commands that dominated the public perception of the RAF for much of the mid-20th century. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Examination of the Würzburg radar equipment brought back to the UK during Operation Biting and subsequent reconnaissance revealed to the British that all German radars were operating in no more than three major frequency ranges, and thus were prone to jamming. "Bomber" Harris, Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of RAF Bomber Command, finally got approval to use Window as part of Operation Gomorrah, the raids against Hamburg. The Würzburg radar was the primary ground-based gun laying radar for both the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht during World War II. Initial development took place before the war, entering service in 1940. ... RAF photo-reconnaissance picture of the Bruneval Wuerzburg (the dish-shaped object in the left-foreground) The Bruneval Wuerzburg from another angle, showing the equipment in profile During World War II, Operation Biting was a Combined Operations raid to capture components of a German Wuerzburg radar set at Bruneval, France... The term Jamming can refer to several things: Jamming as an electronic warfare (EW) - a technique to limit the effectiveness of an opponents communications and/or detection equipment, like Radio Jamming and Radar Jamming E-Mail Jamming- used by electronic political activists or hackers to disable e-mail systems... Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet (April 13, 1892 - April 5, 1984), commonly known as Bomber Harris, and often, in the RAF, as Butcher Harris, was commander of RAF Bomber Command and later a Marshal of the Royal Air Force during the latter half of World War II. In 1942... Bomber Command badge RAF Bomber Command was the organisation that controlled the RAFs bomber forces. ... Firestorm in Hamburg Operation Gomorrah was the military codename for a series of air raids conducted by the Royal Air Force on the city of Hamburg beginning in the end of July 1943. ... Location Coordinates Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2) Administration Country NUTS Region DE6 First Mayor Ole von Beust (CDU) Governing party CDU Votes in Bundesrat 3 (from 69) Basic statistics Area  755 km² (292 sq mi) Population 1,754,317 (11/2006)[1]  - Density 2,324 /km² (6,018...


The first to use it were 76 squadron. Twenty-four crews were briefed onto how to drop the bundles of aluminised-paper strips (treated-paper was used to minimise the weight and maximise the time that the strips would remain in the air, prolonging the effect), one every minute through the flare chute, using a stopwatch to time them. The results were spectacular. The radar guided master searchlights wandered aimlessly across the sky. The AA guns fired randomly or not at all and the night fighters utterly failed to find the bomber stream. A vast area of Hamburg was devastated with the loss of only 12 bombers. Squadron Commanders quickly had special chutes fitted to their bombers to make the deployment even easier. Seeing this as a development that made it safer to go on ops, many crews got in as many trips as they could before the Germans found a countermeasure. Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ...

The effect of chaff on the display of a Giant Wurzburg
The effect of chaff on the display of a Giant Wurzburg

Although the metal strips puzzled the German civilians at first (many thought they were radioactive or carrying anthrax, or some other disease), the German scientists knew exactly what they were because they had developed Düppel themselves and refrained from using it for exactly the same reasons as Lindemann had pointed out to the British. Image File history File linksMetadata Giant_Wurzburg_Display_-_Window_Effect. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Giant_Wurzburg_Display_-_Window_Effect. ... The Würzburg radar was the primary ground-based gun laying radar for both the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht during World War II. Initial development took place before the war, entering service in 1940. ... Radioactive decay is the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei (nuclides) emit subatomic particles. ...


The use of Window rendered the ground-controlled 'Himmelbett' fighters of the Kammhuber Line redundant overnight but the Germans responded quickly, using non-radar equipped free-ranging 'Wild Boar' day fighters to attack visually. Some argue that, by using Window, the British forced the Germans to devise a more effective night fighter defense and had they left well alone then Allied bomber losses may have been ultimately smaller, and not worth the momentary advantage Window gave. The Kammhuber Line was the name given to the German night air defense system established in July 1940 by Colonel Josef Kammhuber. ... A night fighter is a fighter aircraft adapted for use at night, or in other times of bad visibility. ...


A lesser known fact is that Luftwaffe used this technology just six weeks after the above mentioned Hamburg raid. In a series of raids in 1943, and a larger series known as Operation Steinbock between February and May 1944, Düppel allowed German bombers to once again return to London. Although theoretically effective, the small number of bombers, notably in relation to the RAF's now-large night fighter force, doomed the effort from the start. The British fighters were able to go aloft in large numbers and often found the German bombers in spite of their Düppel. Operation Steinbock was a late war German operation carried out by the Luftwaffe between January and May 1944 against targets in southern England, mainly in and around the London area. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... A night fighter is a fighter aircraft adapted for use at night, or in other times of bad visibility. ...


Falklands War

Chaff was heavily used by ships in the Falklands War. The absence of chaff launchers on the Atlantic Conveyor, while used by all other Royal Navy ships in the group, may have led to the ship's sinking by an Exocet missile — although given the vessel's large radar cross section, it is unlikely that chaff would have been effective. Combatants Argentina United Kingdom Commanders Presidente Leopoldo Galtieri Vice Admiral Juan Lombardo Brigadier General Ernesto Crespo Brigade General Mario Menéndez Prime minister Margaret Thatcher Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse Rear-Admiral Sandy Woodward Major General Jeremy Moore Casualties 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner 75 fixed wing... The Atlantic Conveyor was a British merchant navy ship that was requisitioned during the Falklands War and sunk by an Exocet missile. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, and airplanes. ...


See Also

Strategic bombing during World War II by the Royal Air Force
Overviews and documents
RAF Bomber CommandBomber CommandStrategic bombingAerial bombing of citiesButt reportdehousing paper
Prominent People
Sir Archibald Sinclair • Sir Charles PortalNorman BottomleyArthur "Bomber" Harris • Sir Arthur W. Tedder • Professor Lindemann
Bombing Campaigns and Operations
AugsburgBerlinChastiseCologneCrossbowDresdenGomorrah (Hamburg)HeilbronnHurricaneKasselPforzheim • Würzburg
Aircraft
Blenheim • Boston • HalifaxHampdenLancasterMosquitoStirlingVenturaWellesleyWellingtonWhitley
Technology
WindowH2SGEEOboe • G-H • MonicaBlockbuster bombBouncing bombFire bombGrand Slam bombTallboy bomb
Tactics
Area bombingBomber streamPathfindersShuttle bombing
Other
Aerial Defence of the United Kingdom • USAAFLuftwaffe

RNAFs F-16, firing countermeasures (flares) during a solo display at Radom Air Show 2005 A countermeasure is a system (usually for a military application) designed to prevent sensor-based weapons from acquiring and/or destroying a target. ... Infrared countermeasures (IRCM) are devices designed to protect aircraft from infrared homing (heat seeking) missiles by confusing the missiles infrared guidance system so that they will miss their target. ... A Lockheed MC-130 releasing 2x1 Inch MTV decoy flares A (decoy) flare is an aerial countermeasure to counter an infrared-guided surface-to-air missile (SAM) or air-to-air missile (AAM). ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... American troops man an anti-aircraft gun near the Algerian coastline in 1943 Anti-aircraft, or air defense, is any method of combating military aircraft from the ground. ... An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a missile designed to counter ballistic missiles. ... Strategic Bombing during World War II was unlike anything the world had previously witnessed. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Bomber Command badge RAF Bomber Command was the organisation that controlled the RAFs bomber forces. ... Bomber Command is an organizational military unit, generally subordinate to the air force of a country. ... The city heart of Rotterdam after being terror bombed by Nazi Germany in 1940, the ruin of the (now restored) Laurens Kerk is the only building that reminds people of Rotterdams medieval architecture. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Terror bombing. ... ... On on 30 March 1942 Lord Cherwell, the British governments leading scientific adviser, sent to the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill a memorandum which after it had become accepted by the Cabinet became known as the dehousing cabinet paper. ... Archibald Henry Macdonald Sinclair, 1st Viscount Thurso (then Sir Archibald Sinclair) (October 22, 1890-June 15, 1970) was leader of the UK Liberal Party from 1935 until 1945. ... RAF Air Chief Marshal Charles Portal (left) and Polish Commander in Chief Władysław Sikorski (right) visit an airbase of the 300th Polish Bomber Squadron in England. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Norman Howard Bottomley KCB CIE DSO AFC (September 18, 1891 - August 13, 1970) was the Yorkshire-born successor to Arthur Bomber Harris as Commander-in-Chief of Royal Air Force Bomber Command in 1945. ... Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB OBE AFC RAF (April 13, 1892 - April 5, 1984), commonly known as Bomber Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as Butcher Harris[1], was commander of RAF Bomber Command and later a Marshal of... Arthur William Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder (July 11, 1890 - June 3, 1967) was a signficant British Marshal of the Royal Air Force. ... Professor Frederick Alexander Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell (April 5, 1886 - July 3, 1957) was a physicist who became an influential scientific adviser to the British government and a close associate of Winston Churchill. ... The Bavarian city of Augsburg, Germany, was bombed twice by the RAF during World War II 1942 The Augsburg air raid on 17 April 1942 was one of the most daring of World War II. The first squadron to take delivery of the 4-engined Avro Lancaster was No. ... This article is about strategic bombing raids on Berlin. ... Operation Chastise was the official name for the attacks on German dams on May 17, 1943 in World War II using a specially developed bouncing bomb. The attack was carried out by Royal Air Force No. ... Cologne in 1945 The City of Cologne was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies during World War II. During the war the Royal Air Force (RAF) bombed Cologne more than thirty one times. ... Similar to Operation Pointblank against the WWII German aircraft industry, Operation Crossbow specialized in offensive and defensive countermeasures against the Bodyline[1] and Peenemünde 20,[2] the British code names for the 40 ft x 7 ft object with blunt nose and three fins and the small winged aircraft... The bombing of Dresden, led by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and involving the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) between February 13 and February 15, 1945, remains one of the more controversial Allied actions of World War II. Historian Frederick Taylor says: The destruction of Dresden has an... The large port city of Hamburg was very heavily bombed many times by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II. During one of the attacks in July 1943 a firestorm was created that caused many thousands of casualties. ... During WWII, the German city of Heilbronn was raided and bombed many times by both the British and the Americans. ... Operation Hurricane was a joint RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF VIII Bomber Command operation during October 1944 to demonstrate to the enemy in Germany generally the overwhelming superiority of the Allied Air Forces in this theatre[1] A Lancaster drops bundles of incendiary bombs (left), incendiary bombs and a... The city of Kassel in Germany was severely bombed during World War II and more than 10,000 civilians died during these raids. ... During the latter stages of World War II Pforzheim, a town in south west Germany was bombed on a number of times. ... During World War II, on March 16, 1945, 89% of the city was laid to ruins by a British Royal Air Force bombing raid. ... The Bristol Type 142M Blenheim was a high-speed light bomber used extensively in the early days of World War II, built by Bristol Aeroplane Company. ... The Douglas DB-7 was a family of attack, light bomber and night fighter aircraft of World War II, serving primarily with Soviet, US and British airforces. ... The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engine heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. ... The Handley Page HP.52 Hampden was a twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force that was one of the main front-line bombers at the start of World War II. Along with the Whitley and Wellington bombers, the Hampden bore the brunt of the early bombing war... The Avro Lancaster was a British four-engine Second World War bomber aircraft made initially by Avro for the British Royal Air Force (RAF). ... The de Havilland Mosquito[1] was a British combat aircraft that excelled in a number of roles during the Second World War. ... The Stirling was a World War II heavy bomber design built by Short Brothers. ... Lockheed PV-1 Ventura The Lockheed Ventura was a bomber and patrol aircraft of World War II, used by American and British forces in several guises. ... The Vickers Wellesley was a 1930s light bomber built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd for the Royal Air Force. ... The Vickers Wellington was a twin-engine, medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs Chief Designer, R.K. Pierson. ... The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.38 Whitley was one of three twin-engine, front-line medium bombers in service with the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of World War II. // Developed from the A.W.23 bomber-transport to meet Air Ministry Specification B.3/34 and manufactured by... Window was the WWII UK codename for a system called chaff, intended to confuse German radar. ... An early H2S picture of the Pembroke and Milford Haven area The H2S radar was used in bombers of RAF Bomber Command. ... GEE (short for Grid and pronounced simply as G) or AMES Type 7000 was a British radio navigation system used during World War II; the ideas in GEE were developed by the Americans into the LORAN system. ... The navigators Oboe CRT display Oboe (Observer Bombing Over Enemy) was a British aerial blind bombing targeting system in World War II, based on radio transponder technology. ... G-H was a radio navigation system developed by Britain during World War II to aid RAF Bomber Command. ... Monica was a range-only tail warning radar for bombers, introduced by the RAF in June 1943. ... A Lancaster drops bundles of incendiary bombs (left), incendiary bombs and a “cookie” (right) on Duisburg on 15 October 1944 Blockbuster or Cookie was the name given to several of the largest conventional bombs used in World War II by the Royal Air Force (RAF). ... The bouncing bomb was a kind of bomb designed by Barnes Wallis of Vickers-Armstrong at Brooklands, Surrey. ... hey hey you no i rock at soccer cuz no i made the school team!! yay me aka katelyn ♥ Incendiary devices or incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus. ... A British 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) Grand Slam bomb The Grand Slam (Earth Quake bomb), was a very large freefall bomb developed by the British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis (who also made the bouncing bomb) in late 1944. ... The Tallboy was an Earth quake bomb developed by Barnes Wallis and brought into operation by the British in 1944. ... Area bombardment is the policy of indiscriminate bombing of an enemys cities, for the purpose of destroying civilian morale. ... A map of part of the Kammhuber Line showing the belt and nightfighter boxes through which the bomber stream flew The bomber stream was a tactic developed by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command to overwhelm the German aerial defences of the Kammhuber Line during World War II. The... The Pathfinder squadrons of the Royal Air Force were elite squadrons of RAF Bomber Command during World War II. During World War II the RAF Bomber Command practiced mainly night bombing. ... Look up Shuttle in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) was a part of the U.S. Army during World War II. The direct precursor to the U.S. Air Force, the USAAF formally existed between 1941 and 1947. ... This or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

External links

  • BBC: The History of Radar
  • Chief of Chaff dies

Footnotes

  1. ^ Goebel, Greg; The wisard war: The British begin countermeasures

  Results from FactBites:
 
Chaff - Wikipedia Mirror (183 words)
Chaff is the seed casings and other parts inedible to humans of plant matter harvested with cereal grains such as wheat.
The chaff must be separated from the grain before use, by such techniques as threshing and wind winnowing.
Chaff (radar countermeasure) is a technique in which aircraft or other targets spread a cloud of small, thin bits of aluminum or plastic, which appears as a cluster of secondary targets on radar screens.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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