Naxos, the history of a German mobile radar direction finder

1943 - 1945



Technological history is often old mans’ memories, and mainly focuses on the person himself. Shortly after the War technological publications were offering information to (enhance) the glory of the country as well as often to the entrepreneur himself. In a retrospective view, very little is known about what former enemies, like the Germans, were doing technologically.
Of course, the traumatic experience of two World Wars within not yet half a century, was certainly debit to this. But, more than fifty years after this devastating period, the time has come to study Germany’s, nearly unknown, technological history.
Naxos in relation to Radar will perhaps not sound quite unfamiliar, but, what it looks like will be a closed chapter, for many of us.
When Britain authorized (enabled) the use of H2S over German held territory, within one week, the Germans knew about the consequences and reacted soon after. One of their first counter measures was the design and construction of a direction finder annex homing system for cm radar signals, code-name “Naxos”.
Several details were quite unique in those days, like the use of a dielectric loaded antenna, also known as “Polyrod” antenna. Although, dielectric loaded radiators were already explained earlier, their application in the field practically did not occur in Germany or in the US, where scientific, but often empirical, research took place. Both countries were desperately keeping their results secret.

The next pdf download may be copied for non commercial purposes, of course, with source quoting.

To View this paper (pdf), click at: Naxos paper



For the occasion of an open-day for a group of visitors (23 March 2010), I made this photo as to look whether our Naxos is still capable of detecting radar signals (for this occasion at 3120 MHz). That the DF trace is a bit fussy is caused by the fact that the camera exposure is in the order of 0.5 second, whereas the circular trace ran through it about 12 times


Rotating Naxos antenna arrangement ZA290 M 1/44

This naval version operates at 220 V ac and rotates about 1400 rpm

This photo was taken during the same test trial (see first screen shot photo and text)



Back to, or proceed with: Mallach's theoretical paper, which was held and given during a Antenna Conference in March 1943! (click on Chapter 10 text)(new)

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See: Naxos (Exhibit 1997002N)