My father, E. King Stodola, was the team's scientific head. It's not hard to guess why he was chosen for this role. He was an engineer with good social skills and expertise in moving target detection (in this case a very large moving target). His approach to everything, from household repairs to shooting the moon, reflected the can-do spirit that Americans brought to World War II - work rapidly and intensively, use and modify materials already on hand, and then test, test, test.
Applying this method to the challenge they now faced, the team heavily modified an SCR-271 bedspring antenna, jacked up the power, and pointed it at the rising moon. A series of radar signals was broadcast, and each time the echo was heard 2.5 seconds later, the time it takes light to reach the moon and return.
As Fred Carl, COO of the InfoAge Museum located on the former Camp Evans site, succinctly put it, "Project Diana was a pivotal event that built on World War II expertise but pointed the way to the future." The conclusive demonstration that the ionosphere could be pierced captured the world's imagination. It opened the door to space exploration and to communication with the universe beyond the earth's envelope.
On January 10, 2016, I launched this blog to celebrate Project Diana in the context of life in postwar America and in particular of my Jersey Shore childhood. My husband thought I'd run out of things to say after a half a dozen posts. Two years later I'm still going strong.