DSCF9896_edited.png
Black Beacon - Wireless Navigation

For relevant information , please click one of the buttons below

Introduction

The Black Beacon is also known as the Orford Ness Beacon or the Orford Ness Rotating Wireless Navigation Beacon. It was an early radio navigation aid that first became operational in July 1929. It required two rotating transmitting antennas, one at Orford Ness and a further one at Farnborough. They would work asynchronously permitting a receiver on a distant vessel to derive two bearings, one from each station. The two bearings then facilitated the plotting of the vessel’s position on a chart. The German Telefunken Kompass Sender navigation system introduced in 1908 used a more sophisticated phase delay dual site fixed antenna arrangement. This system was later used to direct Zeppelins often over Orford for bombing raids over Eastern England! During WW2 the German Sonne system used 2 large 60m 32 segment ‘umbrella’ antennas. Electronic signal rotation techniques were used in association with calibrated charts to provide a very accurate positioning system.

Click Here for the full Black Beacon report

 

Black Beacon Location - Satellite view

 

Photographs - click image to enlarge view - for full size please contact IRGON 

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Can you Help? Taken some time in the 1930s it shows four men and technical equipment in the Black Beacon. It also illustrates (an unknown) use of narrow gauge railways on the Ness. Albert (Victor) Owen second from the left worked for the Radio section of RAE Farnborough between 1930's and 1950's. His family "would love someone to identify the occasion, the men and even the dog!" Please contact IRGON if you have any information about this photograph © Copyright The Owen family

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Taken 31 October 1955 © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Taken 28 June 1956 © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Taken 22 November 1955 © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Date taken Unknown © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Taken 25 September 1982 © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Taken 25 September 1982 © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Taken 25 September 1982 © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Black Beacon

Black Beacon

Taken 25 September 1982 © Crown Copyright / AWE 2021 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.