From MIT’s History of the Servomechanisms Lab
The MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory was established in 1939 under the direction of Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Gordon S. Brown. The laboratory grew out of a special program on servomechanisms and fire control (gun-positioning instruments) established by the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering in response to a request from the United States Navy.
During World War II the laboratory undertook research and development for the U.S. government and commercial contractors. Wartime projects included the development of automated control systems for the U.S. Navy’s guided missiles; servocontrols for advanced radar; and the design of a universal flight trainer, the Airplane Stability and Control Analyzer (ASCA). After the war the laboratory’s newly created dynamic analysis and control group continued to develop automated control systems for the U.S. Navy guided missiles. In 1946 this group separated to form the Dynamic Analysis and Control Laboratory.