Montage of our solar system

Achievements ranging from headline-making astronomical discovery to work on computers that mimic the human brain have earned 1987 NASA Honor Awards for 24 men and women at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Medals for those honorees, and commendations for eight JPL work teams being feted with group awards, will be presented in ceremony Tuesday, April 26, in JPL's von Karman Auditorium.

JPL Director Dr. Lew Allen will preside during the event, scheduled from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

The Honor Awards are given annually in recognition of achievements throughout NASA. This year's citations at JPL are for contributions in leadership, science, engineering, management, service and for variety of group efforts.

Award winners are: NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal

Robert G. Forney is recipient of the leadership medal. Forney, recent JPL retiree who resides in Sierra Madre, is honored for leadership in NASA's planetary exploration program, the National Photovoltaic Program and in research and development programs for the U.S. Army. NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal

Two astronomers are to receive this award:

-- Dr. Bradford A. Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. With his collaborator, JPL astronomer Dr. Richard J. Terrile, he discovered disc of material around the star Beta Pictoris that could be the first visual evidence of planetary system in formation.

-- Dr. Richard J. Terrile of Pasadena. With his collaborator, the University of Arizona's Smith, Terrile developed special coronographic telescope that made possible the Beta Pictoris discovery and which paves the way for new methods of searching for extra-solar planetary systems. NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal

Three persons are to receive this award:

-- Dr. Roger E. Diehl of Tujunga for his design of gravity-assist trajectories. Diehl recently devised new class of trajectories that use multiple flybys of Venus and Earth to boost the velocity of spacecraft headed for the outer solar system -- such as the Jupiter spacecraft Galileo, due for launch in the fall of 1989.

-- Dr. John Lambe, former JPL employee who now resides in Redmond, Washington. Lambe is honored for pioneering research in neural networks, computer systems that mimic the architecture of the human brain.

-- Robert F. Rice of Altadena, for contributions in development and application of data compression technology. With these techniques, digital pictures and other data from spacecraft can be compressed into fewer bits for faster radio transmission, increasing science return from mission. NASA Exceptional Service Medal

This medal is slated to be presented to 18 JPL employees:

-- Thomas J. Bicknell of Pasadena, for technical leadership in and management of the Advanced Digital Synthetic Aperture Radar Processor.

-- Dr. William T. Callaghan of Claremont, for leadership bringing about industrial participation in the JPL Photovoltaic Program, and for management of the Flat-Plate Solar Array Project.

-- Edward F. Cuddihy of Tujunga, for contributions to cost reduction and reliability improvement in the Flat- Plate Solar Array Project through development of encapsulant materials and coatings.

-- John C. Curlander of Pasadena, for leadership in development of synthetic-aperture radar data processing and post-processing techniques.

-- Dr. Daniel D. Elleman of San Marino, for technical contributions in the field of low-temperature physics and pioneering studies in superfluid helium.

-- Dr. Richard R. Green of Altadena, for management skills and technical expertise in communications and tracking systems for NASA's programs in planetary exploration.

-- Dr. Wesley T. Huntress Jr. of El Toro, for scientific leadership in the field of ion chemistry of interstellar clouds, comets, and Earth and planetary atmospheres.

-- Dr. Martin H. Leipold of La Canada, for leadership in the Flat-Plate Solar Array Project in developing processes for production of low-cost silicon sheet for solar arrays.

-- Gerald S. Levy of Monrovia, for experiments in very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) using the orbiting NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite as one of the observing stations.

-- Dr. Ralph Lutwack of Sunland, for leadership in developing technologies for low-cost commercial production of high-purity silicon material suitable for construction of low- cost solar arrays for terrestrial use.

-- Carol L. Miller of Arcadia, for leadership in application of software engineering techniques to the development and maintenance of large, complex information systems.

-- William E. Rains of La Crescenta, for his effectiveness in planning and implementing facilities programs at JPL, including participation in development of new long-range plan and contract for the new Central Engineering Building.

-- Tamara S. Rimmer of Claremont, for initiative and creativity in development of software-intensive systems applicable to management information and control.

-- Dr. R. Stephen Saunders of Altadena, for scientific leadership in planetary geology, including service as project scientist for the Magellan Mission and as director of the JPL Regional Planetary Image Facility.

-- John A. Scott-Monck of Alhambra, for contributions in development and application of space solar cell and array technology.

-- Dr. Mahadeva P. Sinha of Temple City, for scientific leadership in the field of particulate analysis, including development of technique that allows determination of the chemical composition of individual aerosol particles.

-- Dr. R. Rhoads Stephenson of La Canada, for performance and leadership in directing large technical division, JPL's Electronics and Control Division, engaged in both engineering and research activities.

-- Dr. J. Brooks Thomas of La Canada, for intellectual leadership in analysis and development of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) as it is applied at JPL. NASA Group Achievement Award

Eight groups at JPL will be honored:

-- Advanced Digital Synthetic Aperture Radar Processor Development Team.

-- Team for the Development of Photovoltaic Solar Cell Arrays for Terrestrial Applications.

-- Information Systems Standards Development Team.

-- Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Very Long Baseline Interferometry Team.

-- Central Engineering Building Project Management Team.

-- Joint Theater Level Simulation Development Team.

-- Distributed Management Information and Control System Development Team.

-- Space Station Facility Lease Team.

News Media Contact