Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exploring Earth’s Final Wilderness

I still remember that exhilarating, full-throttle feeling 
by Ledolph B.

I am long-retired, but in the late 1950s, I was finishing my doctoral studies under the most famous ocean wave expert in the country and was recruited to work in the Polaris program, systems integration office of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, California. They sought the very best possible definition of the ocean environment, especially of the ocean waves, through which the Polaris would travel before its motors took over.

Coming from academia, I was much impressed by the quality of the engineering staff, how up to date they were on the most advanced and sophisticated analytical and physical techniques, and the absolute highest priority and full funding being given to the work by both the company and the Navy.

After several years there, when the Poseidon had been designed, I moved to work on anti-submarine warfare and other ocean programs with the Lockheed California Company, became a division manager there, and then took a senior position in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But, throughout my long career, nothing ever had the exhilarating, full-throttle feeling, and absolute maximum effort that I felt in the Polaris and Poseidon programs.