Nov 1967 tenders were called for the supply of four mobile autofollow windfinders
for determining winds to 20,000 feet with moderate accuracy. Midway throuh the
next year a prototype Plessey WF3 radar was evaluated at Laverton and by September
the Bureau had ordered that radar and 5 more at $20,000. (1)
The Plessey WF3 windfinding radar consisted of two main assemblies; the aerial assembly which included the transmitter/receiver and the control rack which contained the operator controls and displays. Optional remote control unit or visual alignment unit allowed an operator to direct the radar onto the balloon-bore target immediately after release. The Control rack could be attached immediately beneath the aerial or within a building. In the first configuration the aerial was mounted on three larger legs surrounded by a canvas or fiberglass tent.
Eagle Farm (Brisbane Airport) 1969
"The radar sets... are likely to be used in tropical areas"
- Weather News 146 Sept '68
After Laverton installation, the first field installation was in Brisbane in August 1969. WF3 radars were installed from Kupang in Indonesia down as far as Launceston in Tasmania! Here is a list of where they were installed.
The WF3 was also highly useful for field operation in static or mobile role
for special projects. Read about them here.
(1) Weather News(#136 & 146)