A PERSONAL HISTORY OF
THE ROYAL GREENWICH OBSERVATORY
AT HERSTMONCEUX CASTLE, 1948-1990

By George A. Wilkins

CHAPTER 4   CHANGE OF CONTROL—PHASE 1 : 1965-1971

This period saw the change of control from the Admiralty to the Science Research Council and two major developments: the installation of a much more powerful electronic computer and the inauguration of the Isaac Newton Telescope at the end of 1967. The Time Department acquired its first atomic frequency standards and a new building for laboratories for instrument development was brought into use. This period also saw the development of strong links with the University of Sussex and the start of the work on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. These and other new developments, as well as the continuing activities of the departments, are described in this chapter, which ends with the retirement of Sir Richard Woolley.

4.1 The change from control by the Ministry of Defence
4.1.1   The establishment of the Science Research Council
4.1.2The immediate effects on the RGO
4.2 Major new developments
4.2.1The installation of the ICT 1909 computer: More about the comparison with other contemporary computers; The hardware characteristics of the ICT 1909 computer
4.2.2The completion of the Isaac Newton Telescope: Commissioning and use of the INT
4.2.3The new Physics building
4.3 Other departmental matters
4.3.1Astrophysics and astrometry
4.3.2Engineering and instrument development
4.3.3Time Department: Atomic frequency standards; Universal time and latitude; Contributions by Humphry Smith; Changes in international timescales
4.3.4H. M. Nautical Almanac Office: NAO publications; Computer composition; Occultations; Dynamics and planetary sciences; Computer Section; Kinetheodolite observations of satellites; Participation by Donald Sadler and others in IAU activities; Retirement of Donald Sadler
4.3.5The Solar and Magnetic Departments
4.3.6The RGO and NAO libraries
4.4 General administrative matters
4.5 External affairs
4.5.1University of Sussex
4.5.2Use of telescopes overseas
4.5.3Anglo-Australian Telescope project
4.5.4Royal Astronomical Society
4.6 The retirement of Sir Richard Woolley

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