The Air Defence Experimental Establishment (A.D.E.E.) existed under this name from 1924 until 1941. Previously known as the Searchlight Experimental Establishment (S.L.E.E.), the establishment had evolved out of the Experimental Section of the Royal Engineers set up at Woolwich in 1917 for the development of searchlights. The threat inherent in aircraft development led to the conversion of this Section into a Civil Department controlled by the War Office. It was known as the Searchlight Experimental Establishment until 1924 when in the year following its move to Biggin Hill, Kent, it was renamed the Air Defence Experimental Establishment. The Establishment remained at Biggin Hill until 1939 when it was transferred to Christchurch, Hants. In 1941 it was renamed the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment.
The A.D.E.E., like S.L.E.E., was concerned with research into gun sound ranging and acoustics, and in 1936 began to take an active interest in radar research, at that time being pursued under the auspices of the Air Ministry.
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