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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Radio Meteor Detector  
  A device carried by space ships that could detect meteors in space early enough to avoid them.  

"We can't reach any great velocity without accelerating for so long a time, that we would take a lifetime to make the round trip, and if we hit anything more massive than a dust grain at that speed, we would be going at so terrific a rate that we would be volatilized." He looked curiously at Arcot. Then he added, "And, going faster than light, our radio meteor detectors would be useless, the beams would be going backwards when they went from behind, and would never go ahead of us so as to leave us in front!"
From Islands of Space, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Compare to meteor-spotting radar from Recoil (1943) by George O. Smith.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Islands of Space
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to Islands of Space
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

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