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NRP   Dutch Radar Laboratory
Nederlands Radar Proefstation

The NRP was the Dutch Radar Laboratory (Nederlands Radar Proefstation) in Noordwijk. It was established by Mr. J.M.F.A. (Joop) van Dijk shortly after WWII, on 7 July 1947, in an attempt to bring The Netherlands up to speed with the wartime developments in the field of RADAR. Over the years, the NRP developed and built a range of high-end equipment in the field of RADAR and radio, including a wide range of covert listening devices for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). NRP is also the founder of the Christiaan Huygens Lab, which still exists as CHL today.
 
NRP equipment on this website
Ultra secret project for the CIA, for developing an equivalent to the Russian passive bug known as 'The Thing' under the codename EASY CHAIR. Artemis range-bearing radar system for precicion positioning PAN-1000 intercept receiver developed for the Dutch Radio Monitoring Service (RCD) NRP field strength indicator with built-in frequency counter

 
History
During WWII, standing in his garden on the morning of 23 July 1934, Joop van Dijk had watched hundreds of small pieces of silver paper falling from the sky and immediately realised that it had to be a countermeasure against a high frequency navigation system that was hitherto unknown.
 
Van Dijk, who had established the Dutch Radio Union (Algemene Nederlandse Radio Unie) back in 1934, went to England immediately after the war, to meet Sir Robert Watson Watt, wartime nagivation pioneer and early RADAR developer.

When he came back, he successfully argued the necessity for The Netherlands to get involved in radar technology. He got permission to set up a radar laboratory for coastal radar in the town of Noordwijk, right at the Dutch sea side.

On 7 July 1947 the station, housed in the remarkable Villa Wave Guide, was officially opened by Mr. D. Spitzen, the secretary-general of the Ministry of Transport, on behalf of the Minister (Vos) [3], by turning on a coastal radar system that greatly enhanced safety on the North Sea. Radar developer, Sir Robert Watson Watt, was amongst the distinguised guests that day.
  
NRP was housed for many years in villa WAVE GUIDE in Noordwijk. Copyright unknown [4].

In the years that followed, the NRP was involved in development and consultancy in the field of RADAR, navigation, sensors, communication equipment and communication systems in general. Although it was a privately owned company, it had strong ties with the Dutch Government and with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In the 1960s, the NRP established its own research facility, called the Christiaan Huygens Laboratorium, which focussed on the research, development and production of radar antenna systems and microwave sensors [1]. In addition, the company developed a range of covert devices for the CIA under the codename EASY CHAIR.
 
CHL
In 1972, the Christiaan Huygens Lab (meanwhile renamed to CHL) was acquired by Boskalis in Sliedrecht, at the time one of the largest dredging companies in The Netherlands. Shortly afterwards, on 22 March 1973, Joop van Dijk who was still the owner of the NRP, died. In 1975 his shares were bought by the (then) current NRP directors Gerard Prins and At Admiraal [2].

In 1984, after Boskalis had run into financial trouble, Admiraal managed to buy back CHL with its 70 staff, making it an NRP subsidiary once again. Nine years later, in 1993, the NRP and CHL were merged and went on as CHL Netherlands BV. The company is still in business today and is based in Katwijk, with expertise in sophisticated radar antenna systems and microwave sensors [1].

 
Work for the CIA
In 1952, the CIA discovered a covert listening device in the office of the American Ambassador in Moscow, which became known as The Thing. In 1954, the CIA turned to the NRP to develop an equivalent device.

The research resulted in a long-term contract with the CIA, for the development of a range of covert listening devices (bugs), receivers and test equipment, under the codename EASY CHAIR.

 More information
  
Ultra secret project for the CIA, for developing an equivalent to the Russian passive bug known as 'The Thing' under the codename EASY CHAIR (EC).

 
Artemis
Artemis is a high-precision microwave locating and positioning system of the range-bearing type, developed by the NRP between 1957 and 1964. It was used for precision-positioning of the caissons in the Dutch Delta Works.

Artemis was later maintained by CHL and is current being produced and marketed by Guidance Marine in the UK (2017).

 More information
  

 
PAN-1000
PAN-1000 was a high-end general coverage panoramic intercept receiver, that was developed especially for the Dutch Radio Monitoring Service (RCD) in the early 1980s.

The receiver covers a frequency range from 0.1 to 1000 MHz and could be fitted inside a car. It was intended for finding clandestine radio stations (pirates).

 More information
  
Complete PAN-1000 set

 
NRP-FS
Alongside the PAN-1000 intercept receiver (see above), the NRP also released this small portable field-strength indicator that was used by the law enforcement officers to pinpoint the location of clandestine transmitter at very close range.

This unit has a built-in frequency counter that could be enabled temporarily by the user, to quickly determine the frequency of the signal.

 More information
  
NRP field strength meter with built-in frequency counter

 
Opening of the NRP building in 1947
The video below is probably the only surviving footage of the opening of the NRP (Dutch Radar Laboratory) in July 1947. The short 1:24 minute clip was taken by the Dutch cinema new agency Polyoon/Profilty, and published on 7 July 1947. It features a number of distinguised people, including NRP founder Joop van Dijk and radar pioneer Sir Robert Watson Watt.
 

Opening Nederlands Radar Proefstation - 7 July 1947.
Source: Open Images. Reproduced under the Creative Commons.

 
Former address

Current address
  • CHL Netherlands BV
    Office address: Lageweg 16, 2222 AG Katwijk, Netherlands
    Postal address: P.O. Box 3072, 2220 CB Katwijk
    Phone: +31 (0)71 4025514
    E-mail: marketing@chl.nl

References
  1. CHL Netherlands BV, History of CHL
    Website. Retrieved January 2013.

  2. Reformatorisch Dagblad, Radar/Proefstation op Boulevard in Noordwijk
    Website (Dutch) 3 January 1985.  Original article

  3. Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, Radar-proefstation geopend
    8 July 1947. p.1, col. 6.

  4. Noordwijkse Huizen, Photograph of Villa Wave Guide
    Website (Dutch). Copyright unknown. Retrieved January 2013.

  5. Google Streetview, Photograph of Villa Wave Guide today (2013)
    Direct link to Google Maps. Retreived January 2013.

  6. Nederlands Radar Proefstation 40 Jaar / 1947-1987
    July 1987.

Further information

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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 15 January 2013. Last changed: Friday, 10 February 2017 - 09:52 CET.
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