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"[Science fiction is] an integration of the mood and attitude of science (the objective universe) with the fears and hopes that spring from the unconscious."
- Gregory Benford

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!"
Technovelgy from Islands of Space, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Here's a variation on this phrase from Planet of the Small Men by Murray Leinster, published in Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1950:

It went into overdrive too, and for the first time in all history meteor-detectors rang a strident, continuous alarm signal while a human ship sped through emptiness at two hundred times the speed of light. Which meant that another solid object was within detector-range and stayed there.

Compare to meteor-spotting radar from Recoil (1943) by George O. Smith and Meteor Warning System from A Conquest of Two Worlds (1932) by Edmond Hamilton.

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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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