Wheelon Named Vice President of Engineering—Hughes News October 21, 1966

Albert D. Wheelon has been named vice president-Engineering, Allen E. Puckett, executive vice president, announced.

Dr. Wheelon has contributed importantly to the nation’s ballistic missile and space programs, and generally to the science of radio physics.

He has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UCLA and has filled scientific and management positions with TRW Systems Inc., and its predecessor companies and most recently with the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, where he was deputy director of Science and Technology.

“The appointment of Dr. Wheelon is in keeping with our program of bringing youth, vigor, and demonstrated ability to the Hughes Aircraft Company’s technological and management functions,” Dr. Puckett said.

Dr. Wheelon obtained a B.S. degree in engineering science from Stanford in 1949 and a Ph.D in physics from MIT, where he was a teaching fellow in physics, in 1952. He joined TRW Systems Inc. in 1953 and headed the radio physics laboratory. In June 1962 he joined the CIA, where he is credited with establishing that agency’s broad research and development operations, processing, and analysis activities for the scientific and technical intelligence.

Dr. Wheelon has been a member of the strategic weapons panel of the President’s Scientific Advisory Board since 1960. Since 1959 he has been a consultant to the Scientific Advisory Board of the United States Air Force. From 1957 to 1961 he lectured on electromagnetic theory at UCLA.


Clarke, Man Who Fulfilled Prophecy, Meet at HAC—Hughes News August 25, 1967

 Discussion Runs Gauntlet From Space to Ground Stations

The man who prophesized synchronous communications satellites visited Space Systems Division recently to meet the man most responsible for the invention of Hughes satellites.

The meeting, which brought together Arthur C. Clarke, British author-electronics engineer-astronomer, and inventor Harold A. Rosen, manager of Communication Satellites Systems, had several highlights:

• Mr. Clarke presented two pages from the Los Angeles Times dated Feb. 3, 1946, to Philip A. “Phil” Rubin, manager of Commercial Communication Satellite Earth Stations, Advance Program Development.  The pages announce the Briton’s historical prophecy of a triad satellite system.

• Mr. Clarke’s opinions on educational television satellite distribution systems were sought by Mr. Rubin, who has completed assignments in India and Ceylon as a United Nations technical expert and advisor on communications satellite systems.

• They discussed the forthcoming motion picture “2001: A Space Odyssey,” based on Clarke’s book by the same title and his October-December lecture tour in the United States.

• Mr. Rubin told of his work in Ceylon where Mr. Clarke resides and writes about many subjects, including skin-divers’ search for the fortune in pearls that exists in those waters, Ceylon’s rich natural resources, and precious gems and minerals in the mountains.

• The Hughesite also discussed his work in India as technical expert and advisor to the Indian government in the designing of the Earth station at Ahmedabad.  He returned to to India last month for the final acceptance tests of the station which has been under construction for the past several months.

The Times reported on its front page in 1946:  “…..the British scientist’s plan to solve long distance broadcasting problems by establishing manned radio relay stations that would forever circle the Earth like tiny moons…is receiving serious consideration…the scientist has won his spurs as a prophet by predicting we’d hit the man-in-the-moon with radar.”

Satellites Are Different

Actually the Hughes communication satellites are vastly different from those envisioned by Mr. Clarke, in the post war era when science started focusing on space as the next frontier.

He projected a manned system with supplies and manpower fed to the stations by rocket ships.

Mr. Clarke and Dr. Rosen hold high awards for advancement of worldwide communication.  Mr. Clarke’s Kalinga prize from UNESCO is for scientific writing.

Dr. Rosen holds the National Space Club’s 1963 top honor for scientific achievement and “…for pioneering efforts which led to an early concept of the synchronous communication satellite system…for conviction of the system’s feasibility, and for dedication and perseverance which eventually culminated in the birth of the Syncom project…”  In 1965 Dr. Rosen received the Golden Plate award from the American Academy of Achievement in Dallas, Tex.

Editor’s Note:  This article is most curious in that while it headlines a meeting between Clarke and Rosen it only mentions discussions between Clarke and Rubin.  No pictures of Clarke were shown with the article.  Clarke’s paper entitled “Extra-Terrestial Relays” in the October 1945 Wireless World was the first discussion of the utility of geosynchronous orbits.


Richardson Names Carlson, Roney, Visher to New Posts—Hughes News May 17, 1968

Appointments of Clare G. Carlson as Director of Operations for Aerospace Group and of Robert K. Roney to succeed him as manager of Space Systems Division have been announced by Senior Vice President and ASG Executive John H Richardson.

At the same time, Mr. Richardson announced the promotion of Paul S. Visher from assistant to associate manager of SSD.

Mr. Richardson in describing Mr. Carlson’s new assignment, said that he will “implement the operating systems and procedures essential to the effective conduct of Aerospace Group business in today’s competitive environment and under the rapidly changing requirements of Department of Defense procurement.”

Other Duties

In addition, Mr. Richardson said, Mr. Carlson will assess the effectiveness of the ASG organizational structure and recommend modifications designed to increase the Group’s ability to manage its business and meet growth and diversification objectives.

“Mr. Carlson will be responsible for Data Processing and Management Systems Operation, for integrating Group activities into our overall business management system, and for the implementation of Management Training activities within the Group,” Mr. Richardson said.

Dr. Roney takes over the top spot in Space Systems, where he had been associate manager for seven years, helping to direct the highly successful Surveyor, Syncom, Early Bird, and Intelsat II programs.

Mr. Carlson has been with Hughes 21 years, serving in a number of executive positions, including manager of the Advanced Armaments Laboratory and manager of the former Guidance and Control Division (now Data Systems) prior to his SSD assignment. He holds a B. S. degree in physics from the University of Alberta and a B. S. M. A. from Stanford.

Falcon Planner

Dr. Roney, a Hughesite since 1949, was a member of the pioneering team that developed the Falcon family of air-to-air missiles before assuming a leading role in HAC’s space efforts. He graduated from the University of Missouri and took his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Caltech.

Mr. Visher joined the company in 1956 and served as a senior project engineer on the GAR-11 program before accepting an appointment in Washington in the office of the Secretary of Defense and later served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Civilian Defense).

He has been with Space Systems since his return. Mr. Visher was graduated with highest honors as a Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University, completed the M. I. T. electronics course, and received a law degree from Yale Law School. He practiced patent law before joining HAC.




An Historic Trip to China–Norm Weinhouse

Those people who are old enough might remember the diplomatic trip by President Nixon to China and the marvelous live TV coverage that came to the U. S. and to the world in 1972. President Nixon is generally credited with opening up China to the world.

The satellite earth station that was used in this event was provided by the Earth Station and Satellite Test Department of S&CG, led by the fearless leader Lou Greenbaum with assistants Al Koury and Joe Angeletti. I had the title of Station Manager for this mission. Legally and contractually the Chinese government was leasing the station from Western Union Co. (who was the “International Common Carrier of the day) and Hughes was subcontracted to provide the equipment, personnel, and training of the Chinese people to operate the station.

There were many memorable incidences during the trip, but to me the most memorable one happened before we went to China. There were 10 of us that were going and we were invited to the office of Dr. “Bud” Wheelon, Vice President of Hughes and head of S&CG. Dr. Wheelon was very cordial and said that “all 25,000 employees of Hughes Aircraft wished that they could go.” He also said, “We must remember that Hughes Aircraft is a major supplier to the United States Government. Now Mr. Nixon may or may not be a vindictive man, but the equipment better not fail.”

Now that was major pressure, especially when considering the equipment. It was what could be laughingly called a transportable station. I am not sure what the gross weight was, but it filled a C-130.

• The antenna was a 7 meter fiberglass reflector with a new feed system (not fully tested for overall performance).

• Two large steel truck bodies were used to house the gear that consisted of a pair of 10 kilowatt high power amplifiers of early 1960’s design, up/down converters and baseband equipment that was put (slapped) together for this mission, and a 60 channel bank of telephone equipment.

• Two monster diesel generators for power

Despite our anxiety the equipment performed flawlessly.

Our little group was treated like royalty. We attended the official diplomatic dinners; there were two vans and two sedans with drivers at our disposal, and two interpreters to help in communication with our Chinese counterparts