U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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2008 Pioneer Award Winners

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Dr. Joseph Miller (posthumous)

High Energey Laser

Dr. Joseph Miller, in his various technical and managerial capacities, was a driving force behind the development of the nation's High Energy Laser (HEL) capability, which resulted in innovative technical and system approaches to create viable solutions for missile defense. He was a nationally recognized expert on HEL system capability and has served in that capacity on a variety of government panels, such as the National Research Council and the Defense Science Board.

From 1971 to 1980, Dr. Miller served as the chief engineer and program director for TRW's high-energy laser projects. During this period he made significant technical contributions to the major chemical laser demonstrations that were critical to advancing the development of HEL systems. He was personally responsible for the initial test operations of the first hundred-kilowatt HEL, the U.S. Air Force/Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Baseline Demonstration Laser in 1973; the first multi-bank, multi-hundred-kilowatt HEL, the U.S. Navy-ARPA Chemical Laser in 1974; and the first megawatt class HEL, the U.S. Navy Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser in 1980. These technology demonstrations provided the underpinning for the cooperative U.S.-Israeli Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL) program that has successfully demonstrated the anti-rocket, anti-artillery shell and anti-mortar shell capability of the HEL weapon system.

Dr. Miller also managed various aspects of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Triad Space Based Laser program that was eventually made part of the Strategic Defense Initiative and the Missile Defense Agency. He is the patent holder for the unique cylindrical configuration chemical laser that was the enabling technology for the megawatt class Alpha chemical laser that formed the heart of the DARPA Triad Space Based Laser program. As a recognized industry leader, his briefings to Congress and other government agencies formed the basis for DARPA's policy commitment to develop the nation's HEL capability in the late 1970's. In many instances Dr. Miller led the effort to establish corporate sponsored research initiatives that demonstrated key technical capabilities, which reduced technical risk to the point where the government was able to justify the establishment of major system demonstration programs. His forward thinking system approaches and support for HEL systems in the1980s were instrumental in establishing funding for the U.S. Air Force/Ballistic Missile Defense Organization Airborne Laser (ABL) program and the U.S.-Israeli THEL program.

In 1991, Dr. Miller was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional honor for an American engineer, for his contributions to advanced high-power lasers and optical systems.

Mr. Alvin Eaton

Interceptor Technology

Mr. Alvin R. Eaton is recognized for his unique contributions, over the last sixty years, for personally providing an overwhelming breadth and depth of technical contributions to ballistic missile defense. His technical leadership has contributed directly to the success of the STANDARD Missile, PATRIOT (Phased Array Tracking Radar Intercept On Target) and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile interceptors we use in missile defense today.

Mr. Eaton began his contributions in 1945. In the face of desperate but effective Japanese Kamikaze attacks in the closing days of World War II, the United States (U.S.) Navy launched an urgent research program known as Project Bumblebee to develop a guided missile for defense of the Fleet. Since, in the words of Theodore von Karman, supersonic aerodynamics was at that time "a collection of mathematical formulas and half-digested, isolated experimental results," it was not surprising that a perplexing new phenomenon was discovered in the very first supersonic test flights. For those flights — representing the design of the Navy's first surface-to-air Terrier missile — large forward wings were employed for pitch and yaw control as well as lift, with roll control by small body-mounted surfaces. In flight, roll control was actually reversed at supersonic speeds -- leading to instant loss of control and disastrous flight failures — and confounding all experts in the field. As a true pioneer in supersonic aerodynamics, Mr. Eaton personally formulated a new concept that fully explained the reasons for reverse roll control at supersonic speeds; he then identified the specific solution that was used for the production design of the first Terrier missiles.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Eaton invented and directed the development of a revolutionary tail control configuration that at once avoided the roll control problem and permitted much higher performance. This innovative, groundbreaking configuration — initially employed for Advanced Terrier and Tartar missiles — has already survived for more than fifty years. It has been used for all versions of STANDARD Missile, including the missiles currently involved in the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense Program.

Following this period, Mr. Eaton continued to make many critical contributions to missilery technologies used by all of the Services. Many of his highly classified technical contributions remain classified to this day, and cannot be discussed here, but were fundamental in advancing the state of the art of interceptor missiles used in Ballistic Missile Defense.

Mr. Eaton led Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory's (JHU/APL's) activities in connection with the development of the initial STANDARD Missile design; headed the Typhon weapon system program that was the forerunner of AEGIS; supervised the JHU/APL Department responsible for early AEGIS development; and personally provided the ideas, the published paper and the presentation at the 1973 Tactical Missiles Conference that were the impetus for the initial DDR&E (Director, Defense Research & Engineering) support of AEGIS battle group coordination efforts.

During the Vietnam War, Mr. Eaton was the technical leader of the Navy countermeasures and tactics development program that reduced Navy aircraft loss rates from twenty to two percent. In 1975, he received the Navy Distinguished Public Service Medal "For exceptionally meritorious service in the conception and implementation of technology to defend ships and aircraft in hostile anti-air environments."

The success of the efforts to counter the well-designed SA-2 surface-to-air missile system led Mr. Eaton to emphasize a new "responsive threat" methodology — studies of specific countermeasures against U.S. systems that could be developed by potential enemies employing publicly available information about U.S. systems. In July 1976, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering asked Mr. Eaton to serve as chairman of a Defense Science Board Task Force to address the potential vulnerability of the new SAM-D (Surface to Air Missile-Development) [later renamed PATRIOT] system to responsive threats.

The extensive Defense Science Board Task Force report, issued in December 1977, resulted in formation of a follow-up panel chaired by Mr. Eaton. Mr. Eaton led the panel in considerations relating to missile aerodynamic and control system design, overall missile system performance, hit-to-kill lethality including ground tests, system simulation validity, radar design and performance, fire-control methodology, flight test planning and analysis, responsive countermeasures, and preparations for low-rate production decisions. The panel received many commendations from DDR&E and the Army.

Notably, at the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm (1991), when the Project Office developed a commemorative PATRIOT pin, the first pin was presented to the President at the White House and the second to Mr. Eaton in a Huntsville, Alabama, ceremony the following day.

Mr. Eaton was a member of several other Defense Science Board task forces. He was a member of the High Energy Laser Review Group and a member of the Durability of Electronic Countermeasures Review Group. For the Navy he chaired threat-related activities of the Planning and Steering Advisory Group for Surface Ship Security, chaired a panel to evaluate the vulnerability of AEGIS to responsive threats, and was a member of many technology-related panels including the Advanced Naval Vehicle Concept Evaluation Program Technical Review Panel. For the Army Science Board he chaired panels on advanced system testing, electromagnetic/electrothermal gun technology development, and Army tactical space systems; he received two U.S. Army Patriotic Civilian Service Awards. For the Army Strategic Defense Command, he chaired a high altitude theater missile defense sensor panel. For efforts relating to the Strategic Defense Initiative, he received a letter of thanks and commendation from U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General James A. Abrahamson, Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.

Dr. James Outenreath

Hit-To-Kill Technology

Dr. James D. Outenreath is recognized for exhibiting significant management and engineering skills over a thirty-five year period that ultimately enabled the United States to demonstrate endo- and exoatmospheric hit-to-kill intercepts. He participated in every major homing/intercept development effort at Lockheed Martin Corporation (and its heritage companies). These programs included the Homing Intercept Technology (HIT) (1971-1976), the Small Radar Homing Intercept Technology (SRHIT), later renamed the Flexible Lightweight Agile Guided Experiment (FLAGE) (1983-1987), the Extended Range Interceptor (ERINT) (1987-2005), the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) (1998-Present), the Line of Sight Anti-Tank (LOSAT) (1981-1991), the U.S. Air Force Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile, and the PATRIOT (Phased Array Tracking Radar On Intercept) Advanced Cabability-3 (PAC-3) (1994-Present) missile segment.

Dr. Outenreath, as a member of the original proposal and development team for the HIT program, led the avionics development effort to demonstrate by simulation and ground tests hit-to-kill accuracies of less than one foot circular error probable. Dr. Outenreath and his engineering team also developed a quantum mechanical model to quantify far field plume radiation effects on exoatmospheric long-wavelength infrared sensors that provided a sound theoretical basis for successful homing and guidance. Within the scope of the ASAT missile development program, Dr. Outenreath developed the discrimination/designation algorithms for the ASAT interceptor, showing that an exoatmospheric interceptor could discriminate and home in on a desired target in the presence of multiple objects. Furthermore, Dr. Outenreath led the guidance analysis team that paved the way to transition exoatmospheric hit-to-kill accuracy to an endoatmospheric tactical interceptor design, which led to the Line-of-Sight Anti-Tank missile program in the 1980s.

As part of the PAC-3 missile competition effort, Dr. Outenreath and his colleagues made major contributions leading to the selection of the ERINT missile. These developments included lethality analysis to quantify via Hydrocode Simulations the effectiveness of hit to kill intercepts against tactical ballistic missiles carrying bulk and chemical submunitions; the insertion of ultra low noise multi frequency exciters that could operate in a high shock environment enabling the PAC 3 missile to operate in any weather against both low-flying cruise missiles as well as theater class ballistic missiles; and the introduction and use of space age materials resulting in a light weight rain resistant radome eliminating any need for a protective shroud.

During the last years of his career at Lockheed Martin, Dr. Outenreath, as part of a classified program, was responsible for developing various methodologies to extend the capabilities of the PAC 3 missile against advanced threat sets. As a result of these efforts, the PAC-3 missile was ultimately selected as the missile of choice for the MEADS program, thereby saving millions of dollars of development cost.

Before retirement in 2004, Dr. Outenreath made one last contribution to the PAC 3 effort — the Missile Segment Enhancement program. This initiative incorporates a larger, more powerful rocket motor coupled with greater control authority, which provides significant improvements in agility and lethal battlespace. These modifications will extend the missile's reach by greater than fifty percent and provide more maneuverability against faster and more sophisticated ballistic and cruise missiles.

Mr. David Laighton and Mr. Michael Borkowski

BMD Radars

A team composed of Mr. David G. Laighton and Mr. Michael T. Borkowski are recognized for their contributions to the development of ballistic missile defense (BMD) radars by developing affordable and reliable X-band solid state Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) transmit/receive (T/R) modules. These modules form the basic building block for all of the current United States Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) X-Band radars.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) was formulating both strategic and tactical X-band radar programs. The SDIO knew the preferred technology was solid state but the technology was immature and assessed to be incapable of being produced in the quantities and power levels needed for BMD applications. At the time, this technology issue was a significant problem for the Government with highly experienced and well meaning advocates on both sides of the debate. Mr. Laighton and Mr. Borkowski applied their collective experience and skills as electrical engineers at the Raytheon Advanced Device Center to find a unique solution. This solution has been validated and incorporated into all of the BMDS X-band radars in use or scheduled to be deployed today. More than 270,000 modules have been produced, on time and within budget.

Mr. Laighton provided the vision that convinced Raytheon management and ultimately the Government to commit to building a family of radar systems based upon solid state X-band technology while Mr. Borkowski led the electrical and mechanical module design team. Jointly they developed the overall approach that resulted in a solid state X-band T/R module that met all performance, reliability, cost and schedule goals. Previously, a solid state X-band phased array radar had never been built. Mr. Laighton and Mr. Borkowski demonstrated "out-of-the-box" thinking by turning the design process upside down. The normal process flowed the design specifications downward from the radar system through the antenna to a T/R module designer. The result was a system driven T/R module that was neither cost effective nor capable of meeting schedule. The new approach involved deciding up-front what the performance of a module, producible in high volume, would be and providing that specification to the system designers as the basic building block for the radar. This created a statistical-based design that was both cost effective and producible with high yields.

Another innovation contributing to the success of this team effort was the use of "one-pass assembly" which greatly reduced touch labor. This unprecedented process involved complete assembly of the T/R module prior to testing, reducing the requirement for multiple, redundant subassembly testing. While Mr. Borkowski provided module designs fulfilling the overall approach, Mr. Laighton convinced Raytheon to invest in a demonstration production line using robotics. This demonstration proved conclusively to the Government that solid state was ready and it was ultimately selected for use in all of the U.S. BMD X-band radars.

Mr. Laighton and Mr. Borkowski went on to design several advanced versions that have also been incorporated into the Family of X-Band Radars. Their pioneering work provided the basis for a BMDS radar suite that is far superior to what it would have been without solid state and contributes directly to the success of the ongoing deployment of the BMDS testbed designed to protect the U.S. homeland, allies and friends against a proliferating ballistic missile threat.

Colonel Michael Rendine (USAF Ret)

Hit-To-Kill Technology

Colonel Michael Rendine (USAF Ret) is recognized for his leadership, technical expertise, and management excellence (leading a multi-agency team) as the Program Manager of the Delta series of experiments and subsequently Director of Special Projects. Assigned to the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization in 1985, he served as the Program Manager and Mission Director for the Delta 180 Experiment, Program Manager of the Delta 181 program through Preliminary Design Review and transition to Major Andy Green (U.S. Army). He also managed the Delta 183 Satellite development, launch and orbital operations. Each of these programs was conceived, developed and launched in less than 24 months at a cost of well under $200 million.

As Program Manager for the Zenith Star program, then Lieutenant Colonel Rendine guided the program from source selection to a preliminary design inspected by President Ronald W. Reagan during a national address at the Martin Denver production facility. This program was on a successful path to launch the 10 megawatt Alpha laser and LAMP (Large Advanced Mirror Program) optics until Congress determined that this device was unnecessarily large for a laser radar.

As Director of Special Projects, Colonel Rendine initiated the Janus program, which was successfully managed by Navy Captain Gary Geist. Under Janus, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory instrumented Navy Trident reentry shells with rear-facing infrared instruments, yielding critical near-field data on Strategic Asset deployment signatures. The Special Projects program also obtained the first space-based data from Brilliant Pebbles prototype sensors.

The conduct of these experiments in less than six years, in a restrictive Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty environment, required a number of actions with critical long-term benefits:

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Army, Navy and Air Force range assets were required to support and verify the Delta 180 intercept and later tests in real-time. The worldwide network required the integration of 170 range assets, ten test ranges, thirty-eight radars, thirty-one satellite links and four aircraft into the largest network ever in a space operation. The assembly of these assets became known as the Space Test Range.
  • Conduct of the rapid test program required that the deactivation and disassembly of the Delta Launch Vehicle production line be reversed. More than a dozen vehicles were brought to completion, and most made available for the initial deployment of the Global Positioning System constellation after the loss of space shuttle Challenger.
  • Several unprecedented physical phenomena were observed by companion sensors on the test vehicles. These results led to the Fly Along Sensor Program (FASP) which still accompanies most missile defense tests.

The trust exhibited by senior Office of Secretary of Defense management demonstrated that space experiments could be conceived and executed rapidly and cost-effectively. Data from the multi-spectral sensors from these spacecraft now resides in Department of Defense Science Data Centers and is available to designers of future systems for missile defense.

Vice Admiral Rodney Rempt (USN Ret)

Naval Theater Ballistic Missile Defense

Vice Admiral Rodney P. Rempt, USN (Ret) is recognized for his contributions from 1990 to 2001 in initiating the development of Naval Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD). In 1990, when serving as a Captain in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO) for Naval Warfare, he initiated the new naval role in Theater Ballistic Missile Defense. In 1992, he became the senior Navy officer assigned to the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and his leadership resulted in a growing acceptance of the Navy's potential TBMD contribution. In 1994, he became the Director, Theater Air Defense in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, responsible for establishing requirements, planning and budgeting for AEGIS, STANDARD Missile, Surface Launchers, Cooperative Engagement and ship self defense systems. During this period he established the requirements and budgeting for the Navy's embryonic TBMD program and conducted six key ballistic missile defense reviews that outlined contributions of Navy Area and NTW to TBMD.

Upon his selection to the grade of Rear Admiral in 1996, he assumed duties as Program Executive Officer (PEO), Theater Air Defense, where he continued direction of the Navy's growing TBMD program. His efforts focused on the acquisition strategy and evolutionary development of AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense. Through his innovative leadership, he helped develop the LINEBACKER capability -- a modification to the AEGIS Weapons System that allowed AEGIS ships to detect, track, and when coupled with the STANDARD Missile-2 Block IVA, intercept tactical ballistic missiles -- as the foundation of the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. This capability led to the first Navy endoatmospheric intercept of a tactical ballistic missile in January 1997. He also contributed to Navy Area TBMD being designated as a major Defense Acquisition Program, and Navy Theater Wide (NTW) becoming a Ballistic Missile Defense Organization core program, with its fielding accelerated.

In 1998, as part of a larger Systems Command/PEO restructure, Rear Admiral Rempt became the first Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Theater Combat Systems. He served as the principal advisor on the introduction of Naval TBMD and the development of advanced shipboard combat systems, with duties that also included working on several international cooperative agreements. He obtained official approval for naval missile development initiatives with Japan in 1999, which focused on cooperative research on four components of a future variant of the STANDARD Missile-3, and he also established naval TBMD initiatives with five European nations.

In his next assignment from August 2000 to July 2001, serving as the first Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Missile Defense, Rear Admiral Rempt focused on technology development and insertions necessary to make the Navy an effective partner in the BMDS. He concurrently served as the Navy’s Director for Surface Warfare, where he programmed and budgeted for all ship programs in the Navy, and effectively led the Navy’s thinking, planning and execution toward attaining a credible BMD capability into the future.

Vice Admiral Rempt concluded his 41 years of active duty serving as President of the United States (U.S.) Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.