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.


Death Ends Work Of Satellite Star Donald Williams—Hughes News February 25, 1966

Donald D. “Don” Williams, 34 one of the nation’s outstanding young men of 1965, took his own life shortly before noon last Monday.

Mr. Williams, co-inventor of the Syncom communications satellite, was a chief scientist in Space System Division. A month ago he was honored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce of the United States with the “outstanding young man” title. It was for developing the orbit control and attitude determination of the Syncom 2, Syncom 3, and Early Bird communications satellites.

Vice President and General Manager L. A. Hyland, in paying tribute to Mr. Williams said: “The important contributions of Don Williams to the synchronous communication satellite are already of historical record. Millions of people in the far corners of the world have and will continue to benefit from his scientific genius that helped give birth to practical space communications.

“Let us remember in our shock at his loss he pioneered the way and that his brilliant work contributed in major degree to the nation’s leadership in space.”

Mr. Williams had been with Hughes Aircraft Company continuously since March 2, 1959 with prior service between 1952 and 1958.


Historic Intelsat VI contract product of personal performance—Hughes News April 30, 1982

The fixed-price contract between SCG’s Commercial Systems Division and the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) is the largest military or commercial communications satellite contract ever awarded.

It covers the development and construction of five spacecraft and is valued at $700 million. Options for 11 additional spacecraft could raise the value to $1.6 billion.

INTELSAT, a consortium of 106 countries, will use the satellites to provide international communications service. Almost all international television transmissions and about two-thirds of intercontinental telephone service are carried by the organization’s current fleet of 14 satellites.

“The campaign for Intelsat VI began back in late 1979,” said Steve Pilcher, an assistant manager in CSD in charge of new business activity. He also managed the proposal.

“It was then that Bruno Miglio, assistant manager of CSD marketing, began meeting with Intelsat users to survey current and future needs and coordinate them with our technical people, who translated those needs into spacecraft designs,” Mr. Pilcher said.

He named a few key individuals.

“During our proposal stage, we were able to borrow many people which was on hold at the time,” he said.

“One of them is Jerry Dutcher, our chief technical person on the proposal and now the program’s assistant manager for systems engineering, integration and test. He was manager of the Leasat Program.

Other technical people “borrowed” from Leasat were Tom Eakins, Chuck Rubin, Al Verbin, and Larry Watson.

Martin Deckett and John Upton coordinated all the meetings and activities between Hughes and the team of international electronics and aerospace firms working on the program.

Jim Thompson led the communications systems engineering and design effort, and Al Wittman was in charge of the spacecraft design. He developed initial concepts and implemented them.

Bill Pomeranz, manager of Business Operations in CSD , and his group “really broke their backs” to ensure the $700-million fixed price was a “good” figure,” Mr. Pilcher said. More than 10,000 pages of cost data were generated by the organization during the proposal, he added.

Mr. Pilcher said special recognition should be given to SCG’s Publications/Graphics people for their work.

“Marilyn Gatto had almost her entire crew working at one time or another on this proposal.”

“And,” he continued, “we really had strong support from Senior Vice President George Todd and the Hughes International organization. Phil Van der Veen in the Brussels office, Willie Kamai in Tokyo, and Tom Shukay and Rock Arant in the Washington office, were especially helpful to us,” he said.

Dick Brandes, CSD manager, led the Hughes team in final negotiations with Intelsat.

“Once the proposal was submitted last August, we had everyone in the company—Corporate, Group, and division management—standing up for us,” Mr. Pilcher said.

“There has been a great amount of travel between El Segundo and Washington, Europe, and Japan as part of the company’s intensive campaign that resulted in this win.”

The Intelsat VI Program office has drawn its management strength from three SCG divisions—CSD, Defense Systems and NASA Systems.

Dave Braverman, an associate manager in CSD, is program manager, associate manager is Mal Meredith from NSD.

Assistant mangers, in addition to Dr. Dutcher, are Dave Doyle, DSD business operations; Henry DiCristina, CSD, international subcontracts, and Ted Savo, NSD, operations.