Dr. Harold Rosen

Dr. Harold A. Rosen has earned worldwide recognition for his pioneering work in the field of communication satellites and is widely recognized as the “father of the geostationary satellite.” Dr. Rosen began his career at Raytheon, where he helped develop early anti-aircraft guided missiles, making many innovations in the fields of radar and missile guidance and control. After joining the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1956, and while working on the development of airborne radars, the world was catapulted into the space age by the 1957 launch of Sputnik. This set the stage for using the new access to space for improving international communications. Using his experience in the fields of communications technology (the airborne radars had advanced transmitters and receivers) as well as guidance and control, Dr. Rosen envisioned a small, controllable, spin stabilized satellite light enough to be launched by the primitive launch vehicles then available. He assembled and led a small, gifted group of colleagues to convert the concept into a design. He was able to convince an initially reluctant management to invest in the development of a prototype, and subsequently convince the U. S. government to fund the Syncom program, a flight program which was based on the Hughes prototype. The successful launches in 1963 and 1964 led to the first commercial satellite in 1965. With communication satellites a commercial reality, Hughes formed a division to pursue this as a business, and he was its technical director. He became a vice president of Hughes and a member of its policy board in 1975, and went on to help build the world’s largest communications satellite business at Hughes Aircraft Company. When he retired from Hughes in 1993, he formed Rosen Motors with his brother, Benjamin M. Rosen. The company developed a prototype hybrid electric powertrain for automobiles. The two elements of the powertrain, a flywheel energy storage system and a low emission gas turbine, are presently used in stationary power systems. His powertrain development experience engendered a strong interest in clean energy technology, which he continues to pursue as a concerned citizen. Rosen has won numerous awards, the most prestigious of which were the NAE Draper Prize in 1995, the National Medal of Technology in 1985, the Communications and Computing Prize from NEC in 1985, the 1982 Alexander Graham Bell Medal and the 1976 Ericsson International Prize in Communications, which was presented by the King of Sweden. In 2003, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He has received numerous other awards and honors, among them the 1992 Design News Special Achievement Award, the 2003 Discover magazine Innovation Award, and the ISCe 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds over eighty patents. Rosen received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Tulane University in 1947 and his masters and doctorate degrees from Caltech in 1948 and 1951. Tulane granted him a doctor of science degree in 1975, and Caltech named him a Distinguished Alumnus the following year. He is a fellow of the IEEE and the AIAA, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Broadcast 1774 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Harold Rosen. Topics: SYNCOM Geostationary Satellite history. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr.

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