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Technology Snippets (to submit snippets, please use this MS Word Template):
Acoustic Holograms: A snippet by Steve Tehon: Lew Somers and I, at the time of enthusiasm about the new discovery of holograms in the 1960s, talked it over, and decided what amounts to "a wave is a wave is a wave." So, we set out to make acoustic holograpms, in water and with ultrasound waves. We got a steel GI barrel, filled it with water, set it up with acoustic senders and recorders, for night runs in the basement of the Lab to avoid much as possible vibrations from traffic in Electronics Parkway. We got recorded patterns, but couldn't make sense out of them. At this point, Bill Penn took a careful look, and said that our problem was that speed of sound (i.e.ultrasound) is so very much slower than light, that to get images from our "acoustic holograms" we would need to observe them with very high gain through a microscope.) Our time was up, our little money was gone, so that was it!
Hermes Guidance System: A snippet by George Kirpatrick: Right after WWII the U.S. Army gave GE a large contract, called Project Hermes, for a variety of tasks in the then new field of rocketry. The initial headquarters for the Hermes Project was in one of the old Edison Buildings (#10 ?) on the Works Avenue in Schenectady. The first task for several engineers was to travel to Germany and interview the German Rocket Scientists at Penemunde and also to locate and return to the U.S.A. large quantities of documents. A further task in Germany was to locate the components for 100 of the largest of the German rockets, the V-2, and arrange for the shipment to White Sands, New Mexico. A more permanent headquarters for the Hermes Project was called The Campbell Avenue Racetrack (yes, there was a racetrack) and it was located off Campbell Avenue, on a hill and just back of the Schenectady Works. There were two buildings and in one, Dr. Richard W. Porter, project director, had his office along with other project leaders and mechanical and aerodynamic designers. The other building was the electrical/electronic design area and where experiments on the 100 V-2 rockets fired at White Sands, NM were coordinated. Various GE components provided the specialists for each design area with the project direction under the Aeronautics and Ordnance Dept from building 28, heat transfer problems were handled by the General Engineering Laboratory, Drs. Bundy and Strong from the research lab consulted on rocket motors (and later worked on the diamond project) and electronics was handled by the then new (1947) Electronics Laboratory out of the new plant at Syracuse. I was hired (by phone) by George Metcalf as he had moved to Syracuse from Schenectady and I was still working in Schenectady. This was 1947. I was to interview Metcalf on my next trip to Syracuse but by the time I had a trip to Syracuse, George had moved from the E Lab over to Bldg. 7 and he became (the first ?) head of CAGE (government and commercial equipment dept.) This preceded HMED. The first electronic project was the development of a telemetry system for use with the firing of the 100 V-2 rockets at White Sands. This highly successful project was headed by Dr. Lewis J. Neelands, in the Racetrack building in Schenectady. I was hired to work on a radar guidance system for a new rocket, designated the Hermes A-1 and much of this work was carried out at the Racetrack building but eventually transferred to Syracuse. Flight tests of the A-1 guidance were performed from the Schenectady County Airport in a C-45 aircraft and rocket motor (and complete static firings) was done at the Malta Test site near Saratoga NY. Various Electronics Lab. personnel worked on the radar guidance for the A-1 after the transfer to Syracuse and names which come to mind include Ed Ernst, Don Arsem, Stan Roelofs, Bob Thor and I'm sure there were more. The A-1 guidance system was tested extensively at White Sands, NM and formed the basis for the radar guidance used on the Corporal Missile System, widely deployed in Europe. A more sophisticated guidance system was developed for the Hermes A-3 rocket, based upon a highly accurate microwave interferometer. The technical work on the A-3 guidance was headed by Dr. Lewis J. Neelands and resulted in a successful system with the know-how later transferred to another ICBM guidance system known as the 8014 project and also to the highly accurate Mistram instrumentation equipment. Many E-Lab engineers contributed to these guidance systems and a few come to mind -- Nelson Cochran, Bob Thor, Blaine Cadwell, Alan Smoll, Ernie Carlson, Ted Webb & many, many more.
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