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Cold War Radar

Low Level Bombing

Canadians in NATO were also essential in creating a low-level radar bombing method.  Before this, no one had the ability to bomb while flying at a low altitude.  In order for this to work, the terrain would have to be mapped out in some way.

Canadian pilots did have some familitary in flying with radar as they did  a couple of test flights at Cold Lake Alberta in a CF-104, and many knew of ‘Pinocchio’, a Dakota which navigated using radar.  However, the terrain in Europe was starkly different than Canada.  Europe had many more cities, and less flat land and lakes.

Al Rosengren, a Squadron Leader, got F/L John Eggenberger to work on this idea of low-level bombing using radar.  He came up with a system which looked at the dark areas of a radar image and used shadows to find what was actually there.  This was all done by changing the controls on the radar including the beam's angle, intensity, and gain.  This then provided a picture of the terrain.

Eggenberger led the Radar Prediction Unit in Baden-Soellingen using Starfighter radar equipment in Pinocchio.  They also used a camera in flight, taking downward photographs to be matched with the radar.

Many in NATO and even somer Canadians doubted this could work at first.  Of everyone, the Americans took the longest to come around to the system.

The contoured maps came to be made in Canada by the Department of Energy Mines and Resources, making the whole project Canadian.  Eggenberger went on to be given the Romeo Vachon Award in 1975 from the Canadian Astronautics and Space Institute for technical innovation in the radar field.