Telos Logo & client Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma [Links/Fort Sill, Wikipedia/Fort Sill].
Featured The United States Army Field Artillery School and a Cannon exhibit in the Fort Sill Museum of Artillery [Video].

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 military computers at Honeywell DCPD in Tampa, Florida, where I became familiar with government standards and test procedures applicable to such equipment. 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 adhesive cements. Corner pads were designed for boxy equipment so that drop impacts did not damage the apparatus. Equipment was placed in moist, temperature-controlled environmental chambers and subjected to mold growth tests. There must be coatings that always pass government mold growth criteria. See United States Military Standards [Links] with standards for ruggedized equipment, including MIL-STD-810 [Wikipedia]. I used PC workstations featuring Microsoft MSDOS and HP9000 UP-UX (UNIX) environments to develop software in ADA. I supplied engineering specification support for the fire control terminals and wrote software manuals for ADA and ADA multitasking problems in proposed systems. I received training in ADA, Advanced ADA, and Object-Oriented Design methodology, and was involved in object-oriented ADA design exercises for detecting nuclear explosions from space. Telos had worked on orbital systems for nuclear test ban treaty verification applications, which work together with seismic event systems. During this period I read government manuals on artillery fire control systems, supporting data systems, and privately educated myself in the mathematics of ballistics using nearby Cameron University library in Lawton. See Gun laying [Wikipedia]. In addition, at this time I privately read The Effects of Nuclear Weapons by Glasstone and Dolan, the government Bible containing advanced formulae for the performance parameters associated with nuclear weapons as a function 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 nuclear weapons application that defended the whole planet Earth. It was a Einsteinian Messiah-type problem with mathematical and physical appeal.

Atomic Annie in the Fort Sill Museum for Artillery. Press for information on Atomic Annie. This 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 cannon designed to fire a shell with a nuclear warhead. The collections of artillery from World I, World War II, and the Korean War included both American and European artillery 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.) I studied tracking shells equipped with rocket assist to equip them with trajectories difficult for radars to trace back to their source cannon, a preview of modern intercept avoidance techniques for projectiles launched from satellites. Projectiles can be made to zig-zag or corkscrew on their way to the target. Telos had excellent educational manuals on current artillery, and the nearby Cameron University Library had professional supporting textbooks in ballistics and the effects of nuclear weapons. I also studied nuclear reactions for fusion energy and fusion energy architectures on an independent basis, including SHIVA, particle beam 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 artillery handbooks. There were also books resembling operations research 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 West Point.

ADA Training from Telos.
Telos developed and managed fire control systems for artillery with software in ADA (MIL-STD-1815), in which I took more than one course at Telos. I later wrote two manuals on ADA: one for our compiler and another for constructing 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 The 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! It was 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 [Images], and often ate in the Fort Sill cafe. Lawton, Oklahoma 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".


Telos Offices from The Headstone Zone just prior to My Departure on the Eve of Desert Storm.
Telos Federal Systems Offices from the Headstone Zone (with mystic profile neck dissection tombstone sign)
just prior to my departure for Tampa, Florida, Nov.1,1990. I planned to rejoin old friends there.
The picture shows my station wagon up front, which I loaded and drove to Tampa, Florida.
However, the station wagon never made it back to Wichita, and my library had to be shipped back years later.
Always have your job waiting for you before you take off, and never zig when you should zag.


One day, the station wagon appeared magically in front of my apartment in Wichita, Kansas.
I hadn't seen it for years and no longer had the key, however. Finally the police took it away.
I was listening to the Art Garfunkle album Everything Waits to be Noticed at the time.

I was hoping to get another engineering position in Tampa Bay and rejoin old friends again when I took this picture of Telos Federal Systems on the way out, from a nearby graveyard of new tombstones. I was excited and enthused about my prospects, and got myself a nice place on the beach near St. Petersburg to look for further employment. After a month or two, I moved into a 2nd floor apartment in Clearwater with attractive modern architecture including a sine-wave staircase, which I thought would be a great for an engineer. I furnished it Vulcan Way style, with material others had put out to be hauled away by beachcombers or picked up by local youth. I had not been invited, however, and to get an engineering job in Tampa Bay from elsewhere without being invited in the first place is difficult and dangerous bad idea, usually. I finally gave up my scenic Clearwater apartment in 1991, and took Greenwood Research back to Wichita with my first new book since my MSEE thesis in electrical engineering. I sold over a hundred copies each of both books to University libraries across America, substituting tooling on the spines of books for my name, instead of being satisfied with a short list of capital letters engraved on a tombstone. In 1994 local libraries began installing Internet, and I became a colorful light in cyberspace, on Tripod, which caught my eye at the public library one day as I was using my email.

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