Telos Federal Systems - Systems Engineer.|
Lawton, OK with
Cameron University. June/1990-Nov/1990.
Here I was involved in
systems engineering and
ADA software studies
to support portable military computers
for artillery fire control applications.
Previously I had worked on
at Honeywell DCPD in Tampa, Florida, where I became familiar with
procedures applicable to such
For instance, such gear has to withstand rigorous
drop testing, so
we learned to
design printed circuit cards
with capacitors laid flat and welded to card surfaces with
were designed for boxy equipment so that
did not damage the apparatus.
Equipment was placed in moist, temperature-controlled
chambers and subjected to
growth tests. There must be
that always pass government mold growth criteria. See
United States Military Standards
standards for ruggedized equipment,
I used PC workstations featuring Microsoft MSDOS
and HP9000 UP-UX
develop software in ADA.
I supplied engineering
support for the fire control terminals and wrote
software manuals for ADA and
ADA multitasking problems in proposed systems.
I received training in ADA,
and Object-Oriented Design methodology,
and was involved in
object-oriented ADA design
explosions from space.
Telos had worked on
for nuclear test ban treaty
which work together with
seismic event systems.
During this period I read
fire control systems,
supporting data systems,
and privately educated myself in
the mathematics of ballistics
using nearby Cameron University
In addition, at this time I privately read
The Effects of Nuclear Weapons
by Glasstone and Dolan, the government Bible containing advanced
parameters associated with nuclear weapons as a
of their kilotonage. I had been introduced to the book by a manager
who had his own copy. After I left the firm, I wrote
The Effects of Thermonuclear Weapons,
which included original software based on Glasstone and Dolan's book for
computing nuclear effects,
and developed software for the
application of nuclear weapons to
the asteroid destruction problem. I computed
the effects of
asteroid collisions on the earth
in detail and was pleased to find a
application that defended the whole planet Earth. It was a
Einsteinian Messiah-type problem with mathematical and physical appeal.
is the place where I was literally "canonized" by viewing the immense outdoor
Fort Sill collection of artillery
in the associated museum for cannoneers, which includes
Atomic Annie, for instance.
This was the first
to fire a shell with a nuclear warhead.
The collections of
artillery from World I,
World War II,
and the Korean War
from all of the combatants, so that I suppose
Fort Sill might be a valuable resource for movie-makers.
(See The History of Artillery and
The History of
Fire Control Radars.)
equipped with rocket assist to equip them
difficult for radars to trace back
to their source cannon,
a preview of
intercept avoidance techniques
launched from satellites.
Projectiles can be made to zig-zag or corkscrew on their way to the target.
Telos had excellent educational manuals on
and the nearby Cameron
University Library had professional supporting textbooks in
the effects of nuclear weapons.
I also studied
nuclear reactions for fusion energy
and fusion energy architectures
on an independent basis, including
heated tokamaks, and
other novel fusion machines.
Incidentally, there are still some secrets in this domain.
Don't miss The
Atomic Bomb Movie for a great set of hints.
I never did find the best equation for
the aerodynamic drag
on an artillery shell,
which is modeled as a polynomial of higher order that can be deduced from actual experimental data,
which is what is given in the
There were also books resembling
similar to the Schaum's Outline Series
on the topic, but specialized for
military command and control,
the theory of warfare,
and other topics suitable for
Telos developed and managed
fire control systems for artillery with software in
in which I took more than one course at Telos.
I later wrote two manuals on ADA: one for our compiler and another for
multitasking applications in ADA under UNIX. I noticed that some of our
artillery control system manuals
seemed to be haunted: if the manual was on a direct time-line to a battle field,
you could hear cannon firing and the cries of the wounded in your inner ear, it seemed.
The effect reminded me of YOU ARE THERE from the voice box of Walter Cronkite via his TV program
20th Century, which I watched as a child at Grandma Green's place in the 1950s.
The manual felt like a suction intake for something that actually transports you into the danger zone. Whew!
the eve of Desert Storm following
the Iraqi attack on Kuwait,
which did not hit until a few weeks after I had left Telos.
Movie: West World
starring Yul Brynner.
I also visited
the grave of Geronimo
and often ate in the Fort Sill cafe.
seemed to have an unusual charge about it, so that it generated more than the usual number of images
in the clouds overhead.
On Sunday, nearly everyone goes to church there, and if you wait for the 2nd service,
you can observe echoes of the 1st service in the clouds over the city resembling choirs of angels.
Below:Jim and his 3 brothers on a cannon. Childhood photo, Wichita, KS, 1950s.
This photo plus the photo of Atomic Annie,
above, reminds me of Annie Jump Cannon,
who invented the OBAFGKM classification system for
stars according to their surface temperature, starting with the hottest.
The associated mnemonic device for remembering it is: "Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me".