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Table of Contents

War History of the Australian Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: D.Met.S.—Australia's Wartime Weather Service

Chapter 2: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 3: Met in the Retreat

Chapter 4: Met in the Advance

Chapter 5: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 6: Central Forecasting Services

Chapter 7: Met With the Army

Chapter 8: Research and Personnel Training

Chapter 9: Instrumental Development and Maintenance
Major Projects

Chapter 10: Scientific Developments in the RAAF Meteorological Service

Chapter 11: Divisional Bureaux and Their Work

Appendix 1: List of Reports Provided by D.Met.S. for Advances Operational Planning and Other Purposes

Appendix 2: List of Service Personnel RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 3: List of Civilian Personnel Who Worked Together with Service Personnel of the RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 4: List of Locations at which RAAF Meteorological Service Personnel Served


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Chapter 9: Instrumental Development and Maintenance

Just as the great expansion of Australian weather services at home and abroad during World War II imposed a severe strain on the personnel resources of D.Met.S., so also did the demand for scientific equipment at the widely scattered field stations. This problem was accentuated by the fact, that prior to the war, most of the meteorological equipment in use in Australia was imported either from Great Britain or the United States—sources of supply which closed early in the conflict—so that the Directorate was faced with the double task of obtaining greatly increased scientific supplies and of doing so within the country. That it succeeded is shown by the excellent standard of equipment at D.Met.S. stations, and also by the fact that before the end of the war, the scientific laboratories of the Directorate also were carrying out a considerable amount of non-meteorological work for the Royal Australian Air Force.

The instruments section of the Australian meteorological organisation had a small beginning in 1938, the year before outbreak of war with Germany. Staff of the section at that time comprised two meteorologists and one instrument maker, while its functions were defined as repair and maintenance of all meteorological equipment in use by the service, together with supervision of general instrumental practice. When war came, insufficient time had passed for the section to have become completely equipped or fully organised for the task ahead, but every effort was accelerated to this end. Workshop facilities were almost complete, but the work of setting up calibration standards and testing equipment was only commencing. On hand were one barometric standard and one substandard manometer, barely suitable temperature standards ranging from 0 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity standards covering a range from 10 to 90 per cent over temperatures from +10 to +40 degrees Celsius, while testing equipment included pressure instruments without temperature control, and humidity apparatus.

Because of the need to produce a large amount of meteorological equipment locally, preparation within the section of a large number of technical specifications for manufacturing purposes was placed in hand, and it was also necessary to devote considerable time to testing Australian made instruments for acceptance purpose work in which the section was associated with Aircraft Inspection Directorate of the RAAF. During this period, technical specifications were exchanged with other meteorological organisations—principally with those in Great Britain, the United States and Canada—so that by late in the war period a considerable specification library had been built up.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S)

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Haldane, T. 1997 'War History of the Australian Meteorological Service in the Royal Australian Air Force April 1941 to July 1946', Metarch Papers, No. 10 October 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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