Event Details


All Talks and Meetings will commence at 2.30 pm and be held in the Chichester Room, Field Place, Worthing; unless another venue or time is indicated.

Visitors are welcome to attend all meetings; there is a charge for non members of £5 which includes tea/coffee and biscuits, members and spouses pay £2. To become a member see Membership under About Us.

Coffee mornings take place at 10.30am on the 3rd and last Thursdays of the month. Click here for full details…

Date Event Description Venue
Tues 17th
AGM and Talk

The Technical Challenges to Taking Astronomical Images

John Mallett.

John’s talk will be about the journey he has taken to gain high quality images and data from a UK amateur observatory.  The technical challenges in dealing with mechanical, electrical, atmospheric variations, noise and errors that cause image and measurement data quality issues.  For example, he will look at the control loop required to track stars using a computer driven telescope mount and adjust for errors in gear systems, motor resolution, camera noise, atmospheric movement etc. He will also examine some of the other effects that cause errors in observing distant objects in terms of the uncertainty of time and our movement round the sun and solar system.

Field Place
Tues 8th

Goonhilly – a Tale of Two Half-centuries

Des Prouse, Secretary and Trustee, Goonhilly Heritage Society.

Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station has been instrumental in the history and development of satellite communications since the early 1960s. The talk will commence with a summary of the evolution over its first half-century, leading up to plans for its demolition in 2009. The second part will show how the site was saved from the bulldozer and will introduce some of the exciting plans which the new owner has for using the existing large dishes as the basis for the Goonhilly Space Science Park over the next half-century, during which Goonhilly (and hence Cornwall) will be ideally placed to gain universal acclaim as a centre of excellence for space communications and navigation for missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Field Place
Tues 5th

In December 2016 we were given a talk by Martin Sigrist about the Electrification Traction Power arrangements for the Thameslink Project and particularly the management of the interface between the 25kV AC and 750V DC systems between Blackfriars and City Thameslink stations. This is carried out at Ludgate Cellars Substation. Martin has arranged a technical visit for us. The substation is a short walk from City Thameslink station. As the substation contains static and enclosed equipment, no special personal protective equipment is required. The equipment comprises HVAC and High- Speed DC switchgear, Rectifiers, Rectifier Transformers and uniquely here, DC contactors operated automatically by the train movements.

If you are coming on the visit, I recommend that you re-read Martin’s talk which is in the August 2017 newsletter andcan be retrieved from the RCEA website.

We will meet at the south exit from City Thameslink station. The planned Thameslink train is the 11.13 arrival from Brighton (depart 0958). There is a connection (10.10 arrive, 10.16 depart) at Haywards Heath off the 09.32 from West Worthing (09.15 from Littlehampton) for those travelling from stations between Littlehampton and Hove.
The maximum number for the visit is 20 which would form two groups of 10.

Ludgate Cellars Substation
Tues 12th November Talk

Cooch Memorial Lecture: The Electrified World – A Perfect Place for Fuel Cells

Paul Barnard, Director of Special Projects, Ceres Power Ltd.

As the world becomes more electrified and moves away from traditional sources of energy for electrical generation and transport motive power, there are many challenges in the transition and the final energy picture – whatever the future holds.

Renewable sources of electrical energy have intermittency or energy storage challenges, traditional generating assets have emissions challenges, the national grid has capacity limits, electrical vehicles have battery and charging challenges. Fuel cells offer an answer to some of these challenges in ways to ease and accelerate the transition to an electrified world.

Fuel cells are the most efficient means of converting chemical energy to electrical energy. Historically, they have been a mixture of science fiction and space race fact; now they are proving to be real world products. Offering electrical power outputs ranging from Watts to greater than Mega Watts, fuel flexibility and suitability for stationary and motive applications – the future world is a perfect place for fuel cells.  

Ceres Power are a world leader in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells with global OEM partners and projects spanning different fuels, power ranges and applications. The talk will explore the role of fuel cells in the future energy mix and provide details of Ceres Power’s world leading technology and research. 

The Pavilion
Field Place
Thurs 5thDecember Lunch R.C.E.A. Christmas Lunch at Windsor Hotel, Worthing Worthing
Tues 10th

Creating UK traceable national measurement standards for medical ultrasound and underwater acoustics – a success story

Dr Roy C. Preston, retired Senior NPL Fellow

The UK National Physical Laboratory started work on establishing measurement standards for medical ultrasound in the late 1970’s to meet the needs of clinicians and industry to ensure safety. Medical ultrasonic devices operate mainly in the frequency range 1 – 20 MHz, so measuring devices were developed such as radiation force balances to measure ultrasonic power and new types of hydrophone to measure acoustic pressure. Optical calibration methods directly traceable to the SI system were also developed. During the 1980’s and 1990’s NPL built an impressive capability that today leads the world. During the late 1990’s opportunities were taken to address the need for traceable standards in underwater acoustics. New capabilities were established, including a 100 Tonne acoustic pressure vessel which is unique in Europe, and now these have also become world leaders. This talk will explain the background to these developments and achievements.

Field Place
Tues 14th

Operation Overlord, D-Day 6 June 1944

Dudley Hooley, Director, Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

The talk inevitably can only skim the surface of what was the largest amphibious landing in the history of warfare.  After a brief introduction to the allied leaders, the talk covers Operation Fortitude, the great deception to persuade the German high command that the invasion would be centred on the Pas de Calais.  The eccentric Gen Sir Percy Cleghorn Hobart and his ‘Funnies’ which played such a key role in the success of the invasion, Operation Deadstick, the attack on Pegasus Bridge, which signalled the opening shots of the invasion,  A brief look at the German defences and role of the X-Craft.  The landings at the Pointe de Hoc and the four invasion beaches.   Air support flown from local Sussex airfields includes the story of Spitfire ML 407, still flying today.  Finally a few staggering statistics conclude what truly was the ‘Longest Day’.

Field Place
Tues 11th
Talk   The Barn



Field Place

Tues 10th
Talk   The Pavilion
Field Place
Thurs May Visit    
Sat.May Visit
Fri. May Outing
Thurs  July Outing