||John N. Briggs
||The Institution of Electrical Engineers
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The opportunity arose, with the end of hostilities in 1945, to make available to Merchant Shipping the new technology of radar, which had developed so rapidly in the secrecy of war. In the United Kingdom, the Government made a design available to manufacturers and this was followed by Performance Specifications for Radar for Merchant Ships in 1946. This specification and its later revisions were prepared by the Ministry of Transport in consultation with representatives of shipowners, lighthouse and harbour authorities, marine manufacturers, the General Post Office and the Admiralty. The GPO at the time were responsible for the use of radio frequencies and the Admiralty contributed the technical expertise with a new Transport Experimental group at ASE (Admiralty Signals Establishment) in Eastney which subsequently developed into the Civil Marine Division of ASWE (Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment). Together with these Performance Specifications a system of type testing of designs was put in place to certify their compliance. Radar on Merchant Ships was initially installed for commercial puiposes. The early customers were ferries, which could then maintain better schedules in fog, and large fishing vessels. Radar was treated with great suspicion by the mariners of the day and was usually the preserve of the master, who locked it so that it could only be used when he was on the bridge. Ports also started using radar for the commercial purposes of berthing ships in fog; one example is the Port of Liverpool, in 1948...