The Knickebein

by Daniel Russ on August 14, 2013


Prior to World War II, Lufthansa conducted research and developed a system of directing aircraft to a distant runway in case of inclement weather or darkness. This blind navigation system was based on radio carrier waves that were directed in single beam over the landing zone. Johannes Plendl created this technology. The narrow band signals were beamed say from the occupied French coast to a port in England. The signal to the left of the plane had short beeps coded into it. The beam to the right had longer notes. So pilots could tell when they had to change direction and which way to turn just by the nature of the tone. When the signals crossed, they heard continuous beeping, and that indicated that they were over the target. The British code named this system the Headache.


Looking at the map, one can see that the two combing directional beams were broadcast from hundreds of miles apart. So the British sough to knock out the bombing beams. The British flew carrier wave sensors about and looked for a coded Lorenz like broadcast signal at around 40 Mhz. One British crew discovered both beams and calculated that they crossed over the Rolls Royce factory making Merlin engines. To counter the bombing beams the British devised something quite simple. They broadcast their own fake combing beams so the radio operators could not distinguish from the original. Operators hope to fool the Germans into dropping their payloads over unoccupied territory. They called this system, “Aspirin”.




Source: Wiki



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