Team effort’ key to Aussat win—Hughes News May 28, 1982 Transcribed by Faith MacPherson

 All SCG divisions involved

The agreement between Aussat Proprietary, Ltd., and Hughes Communications International for Australia’s first communications satellite system was the result of “a very effective team effort,” said Mike Houterman, program manager in Space and Communications Group.

“It started with early marketing activities many years ago and has continued through the proposal, clarification discussions and negotiation phases.

“We have received a great deal of companywide support,” he added. Senior Vice President Albert Wheelon, SCG president; Senior Vice President George Todd, International; Vice President Harold Rosen, SCG Engineering; Vice President Jim Sutherland, Offshore Trade Development; and SCG Commercial Systems Division Manager Dick Brandes traveled to Australia to support the program during its formative stages.

Norm Avrech, assistant manager in CSD’s Advanced Systems Development Lab, headed the marketing activities beginning in early 1981. He and Ken Renshaw were responsible for establishing and developing many of the initial relationships with the Australians, Mr. Houterman said.

“The proposal team led by technical director Sankaran Ramji from SCG’s Systems Laboratories, came through with a great proposal during a time when they were busy with many others.”

Key members of the negotiations team were:

  • Joe Angeletti, a project manager in the Advanced Systems Development Lab, led the efforts on the ground segment.
  • Bob Judson, contract manager on the program, headed up contract activities.
  • Pete Herron, manager of CSD’s Program Planning and Control Department was in charge of the financial aspects.
  • Ev Durfee, director of Special Projects for SCG, helped resolve many top-level business and contractual issues.
  • Ron Symmes, assistant manager for bus engineering in CSD’s Systems Engineering Department, was in charge of systems engineering.
  • Lee Pressman, Communications manager in CSD’s System Engineering Department and Dan Miller, system engineer in SCG’s Systems Engineering Laboratory, were responsible for the communications systems engineering work.
  • “R.C.” Smith, manger of Satellite Ground Equipment Division’s Earth Stations Projects Department; Dave Ploen, project engineer in SGED’s Software Projects Department; and Klaus Johannsen, senior staff engineer in SGED, were responsible for the ground segment.

In addition to Mr. Houterman, Mr. Judson, and Mr. Symmes, other members of the program office team include Vern Trail, manager of the Hughes office in Jakarta, Indonesia, who will be assistant manager of the program; John King, Business Operations manager; Clark Tate, program Product Assurance manager and Dennis Beeson, subcontracts manager.

Also, Bernie Bienstrock will be in charge of bus systems engineering; Gerry Muraida heads the communications systems engineering efforts; and Bob Blink is in charge of engineering work on telemetry and command, and radio frequency tracking systems.


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About Jack Fisher

Jack was a systems engineer at Hughes from 1961 to 1992. He contributed to various programs including Surveyor, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Intelsat VI and innumerable proposals. He was the manager of of the Spacecraft Systems Engineering Lab until his retirement. Upon retirement Jack taught systems engineering at a number of national and international venues.