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Hans Hollmann

Hans Erich (Eric) Hollmann (4 November, 1899 — 19 November 1960) was a German electronic specialist who made several breakthroughs in the development of radar.

Hollmann was born in Solingen, Germany. He became interested in radio and even as a teenager subscribed to the technical magazines of the day. Late in World War I he became a prisoner of war of the French and did not return to Germany until 1920. He then studied at the Technical University at Darmstadt until he gained his doctorate in 1928.

Hollmann developed and built the first ultra short wave transmitter and receiver for centimeter and decimeter waves in 1927. This led to the development the first microwave telecommunication system.

In 1930 Hollmann moved to the Heinrich-Hertz Institute for Oscillatory Research in Berlin. As well as studying microwaves and cathode ray tubes he also worked on the ionosphere research and on radio astronomy. In 1933 Hollmann became a lecturer at the Technical University in Berlin. He also became a consultant of Telefunken.

In 1928 Hollmann, Hans-Karl von Willisen and Paul-Günther Erbslöh started a company called GEMA. GEMA built the first radar in the autumn of 1934 for naval use. It used a 50cm wave-length and could find ships up to 10 km away. By 1935, they had developed the technology into two applications. For naval use, the "Seetakt" system, they used a wave length of 80 cm. A land based radar was also developed called "Freya".

Telefunken set up a radar business in 1933 based on Hollmann's work and developed a system called "Würzburg." During war, the Freya and the highly directional Würzburg worked in pairs. Freya would spot the incoming aircraft while the Würzburg calculated the distance and height.

In 1935, H.E. Hollmann wrote two books on microwaves, "Physics and Technique of Ultrashort Waves", and "Seeing with Electromagnetic Waves" which were the inspiration for the development of centimetric radar in other countries despite some censorship of their contents.

During the war he supervised many research institutes in occupied countries and saved many scientists from being deported to Germany. His home and his laboratory in Berlin were destroyed during the war. After the war he was not allowed to work on microwaves but he turned his attention to a wide range of other fields in electronics. He eventually accepted an offer from the US Government to work in California.

He was married to Gisela Schimmelbusch and had three children. He died in Los Angeles in 1960.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hans_Hollmann". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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