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Artificial satellites, Astronautics, History

GavaghanCommunications | Source material

SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN, Satellites and the Beginning of the Space Age
Copyright for the book, including research notes, Copernicus/Springer Verlag (New York)

History of artificial satellites
BOOK FOR SALE


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p260

Chapter fourteen: Keep it Simple, Suomi

I gathered most biographical details about Verner Suomi from interview's with him and his wife and crosschecked these where possible with written sources and the impressions of those who knew him, which includes nearly everyone in the world of meteorology. I interviewed Dave Johnson, Joseph Smagorinsky, Robert White, Pierre Morel, Thomas Haig, Lee Skille, Bob Sutton, and Bob Ohckers.

The feud between Reid Bryson and Verner Suomi (page 152) is explored by William Broad in the New York Times of October 24, 1989.

My favorite piece of correspondence to Wexler, clearly written in response to his efforts to drum up support for Verner Suomi's radiation balance experiment, is from Herbert (Herbie) Riehl, of the University of Chicago (which then had a highly respected meteorology department). Riehl wrote to Wexler on November 28, 1956, from "somewhere over the Rockies" in a plane "with mechanical shakes, hope you have bifocals." He said, "Some hours have gone since our early morning encounter, but they have been enough for my latent astonishment at your remarks over satellites to solidify." Riehl goes on to discuss Earth's net radiation balance. He adds, "I think this is fundamental information for guiding meteorological research on long (and very long) period changes.

Wexler presented Suomi's idea for a radiation balance experiment to the Technical Panel on the Earth Satellite Program (page 154) on the second day of the sixth meeting of the TPESP on June 8, 1956. James Van Allen, with his credentials as the former chair of the Upper Atmosphere Research Panel, headed a Working Group on Internal Instrumentation formed by the TPESP at its third meeting, on January 28. The UARP had received many suggestions for satellite instrumentation following President Eisenhower's announcement of July 29, 1955. One of these experiments was that of Bill Stroud, from the Signal Corps of Engineers. Van Allen pointed out that Stroud's experiment had already been approved, and that while not as broad as Wexler's proposal, it was simpler.

Wexler obtained the backing of the IGY's Technical Panel on Meteorology, of which Wexler was chair, for both Stroud's and Suomi s experiments at the TPM's eighth meeting, on October 9, 1956.


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artificial, satellites, astronautics, technology, history, satellites, history, astronautics, astronautics, satellites, history, astronautics, politics.

Page text content checked against original in print by HG on 2nd May, 2013.

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