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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962
Leonard Joseph Dwyer—A Complex Character
Reorganising the Bureau
Public Weather Services
Forecasts for the General Public
Importance of Radio Stations
The Advent of Television
Automatic Telephone Forecast Service
Wording and Verification of Forecasts
Services for Aviation
Atomic Weapons Tests
Atomic Weapons Tests—Mosaic G1 and G2
Atomic Weapons Tests—Buffalo 1, 2, 3 and 4
Atomic Weapons Tests—Operations Antler, 2 and 3
Atomic Weapons Tests—Minor Trials
Instruments and Observations
Radar/Radio Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Automatic Weather Stations
Meteorological Satellites
Tropical Cyclones
Bureau Conference on Tropical Cyclones
International Symposium on Tropical Cyclones, Brisbane
Design of Water Storages, Etc
Flood Forecasting
Cloud Seeding
Reduction of Evaporation
Rain Seminar
Cloud Physics
Fire Weather
Research and Special Investigations
International Activities
The International Geophysical Year
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean
International Symposium on Antarctic Meteorology
International Antarctic Analysis Centre
ADP, EDP and Computers
Management Conference
Services Conference
CSIRO and the Universities
Achievements of the Dwyer Years

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Telecommunications (continued)

In 1955–56 the Bureau developed a weather facsimile network using fulltime leased PMG lines. This network enabled the transmission of analysis and prognostic weather charts, eliminating the tedium of encoding a message of five figure groups to delineate the value and position of isopleths on the charts. The beginnings of the network were in operation to install a line from the Melbourne Central Analysis Office to the operations centre of the Melbourne Olympic Games, a great service to Games organisers.

The facsimile equipment was manufactured by Muirhead, a UK company. After an initial period of eliminating the usual bugs, it became one of the biggest and best weatherfax systems in the world. One later facsimile development was the introduction of radio-facsimile transmissions in the RAAF's weather broadcasts to meet WMO and other requirements.

With the expanded growth and complexity of the telecommunications system used by the Bureau it became obvious that Ralph Holmes needed the assistance of an in-house telecommunications engineer. This position was filled by W. K. (Keith) Henderson who had joined the PMG's Department as a trainee technician in 1942, worked on the Radio Australia transmitter at Shepparton from 1946 to 1950 when, having qualified as a professional telecommunications engineer, he worked in PMG's Victorian Head Office where his duties included provision and maintenance of the Bureau's facsimile services.

Keith joined the Bureau as a senior engineer in November 1960 as head of the new Communications Section created as part of a major reorganisation of Central Office. This was a time of major technological development and Keith had a busy time inspecting the whole gamut of the Bureau's telecommunications system and introducing changes to improve efficiency.

After the Dwyer years Keith was first promoted to head an expanded Communications Section and with a later reorganisation in which a new Facilities Division was created he was further promoted in charge of communications, satellite and instrument engineering, finishing his Public Service career as head of the Facilities Division, having acted as Assistant Director Management and Director of Meteorology at times before retiring in 1986.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Central Analysis Office (CAO)

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Henderson, William Keith; Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

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