Daniel J. Healey III – A Pioneer in Low Noise Radar Exciter Technology 1922-2000
The time and frequency control community lost one of its pioneers on November 24, 2000 when Daniel Healey passed away. Dan made many important contributions to the design and understanding of low noise oscillators as well as to low noise radar exciter technology. He will be missed by his friends and colleagues.
Dan was born in Baltimore, Maryland on November 9, 1922. He received the Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with honors from Johns Hopkins University in 1947, following a two-year interruption to his studies when he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve as an electronics technician. He did graduate study at Johns Hopkins from 1949 to 1954. In 1947 he joined the Westinghouse Defense Center in Baltimore Maryland. He retired from Westinghouse in the mid-1980’s as an Advisory Engineer. For most of his career, he was engaged in the design and development of stable frequency sources for airborne radar applications.
The mechanization of the AWACS STALO, exhibiting state-of-the-art spectral purity, serves as one of many tributes to Dan’s inventiveness and expertise. Over the past several years, very successful techniques have been developed for oscillator noise reduction involving carrier-nulling as a means for enhancing signal noise side-band level and detectability. A technical paper by Dan Healey and Dan Buck given at a 1964 IEEE-NASA Symposium on Short-Term Frequency Stability describes their successful use of the same technique for use in measurement apparatus over 36 years ago!
According to Mike Driscoll, who worked with Dan on a variety of projects at Westinghouse for many years beginning in 1966, everyone who worked with Dan directly or knew of his work acknowledged the depth and breadth of his technical expertise. Mike has stated that his initial work assignments with Dan constituted invaluable learning experiences.