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Fifth new national academy of engineering member with strong Stanford ties

Professor (Research) Emeritus H. Taylor Howard has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Howard, who has Stanford ties dating back to 1955, is generally regarded as the father of the home satellite dish.

In last week's announcement from the National Academy of Engineering, Howard was identified with the company that he co-founded, Chaparral Communications Inc. of San Jose. But he has also worked at Stanford as a research associate, senior research associate, adjunct professor of electrical engineering and co-director of the Center for Radio Astronomy and associate director of the Stanford Radioscience Laboratory. After being granted emeritus status, he was recalled to active duty part time to continue as leader of the Radio Propagation team for the Galileo spacecraft currently exploring Jupiter.

Since earning his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1955, Howard has had a distinguished career in radio science and radar astronomy. Working at Stanford, he has been a principal investigator on several Apollo flight experiments and planetary probes. He is the author and co-author of more than 40 scientific publications. He has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and has received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement for his work on an Apollo bistatic radar experiment.

At the same time, Howard began private experimentation with video transmission from communications satellites. In 1976, he put on the air the first home-built, privately owned satellite receiving system and then published a how-to-do-it manual on the system. Elements of his design are incorporated in nearly all satellite video receivers now in production. He is the inventor or co-inventor on seven U.S. and several foreign patents. His company, Chaparral Communications, produces widely used components for satellite dishes.

In 1980 he became founding president of the satellite industry trade association, SPACE, and has served continuously as an officer, director or chairman. When the group merged with the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association in 1986, he was elected chairman. In this position he has testified before Congress in behalf of the satellite industry.


By David F. Salisbury