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Photometer Electronics: WIlliam Galinaitis

It had always been my desire to do planetary and lunar photometry using the Pitt telescope, since the available data was incomplete and inconsistent; but constructing a good practical photometer is not very easy to accomplish for a variety of reasons; in particular the electronic design presented me with the most problems. Fortunately, a real expert appeared on the scene, who had designed and built electronic devices for airplanes and spacecraft. His name was William Galinaitis, and he was fortunately a candidate for the M.A. in astronomy. He was quite willing to test our photometer and redesign the electronics. The Moon was a good test object for such studies, since a wide variation of intensities and colors could be observed, especially in the "ash light" (earthshine). So he proceeded to work on such problems, and received his M.A. in 1965; the thesis title was Lunar Observational Instrumentation.

He then went to the University of Arizona for awhile, fully intending to obtain a Ph.D., but family responsibilities made it impossible to continue, and he was lured into working for McDonnell-Douglas. Shortly thereafter he entered the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) becoming a Senior Research Scientist, and carried out research employing remote sensing, optical and infra-red spectrophotometry, and made studies of climatology, global energy and food production. He developed specifications for the Landsat Space Program. In 1974 he received the Intelligence Metal of Merit, and in 1984 the Career Intelligence Metal. Since retiring from the CIA in 1984, he has worked as Program Manager for the Harris Corporation and most recently for the Electronics Warfare Associates (EWA; refer to the web site www.ewa.com). Recently he sent me a note: "My prime goal these days is to pursue planetary radiometrics. Our new instrumentation and assessment methods may prove to be useful in providing the next step. Only time and the furnace of application will confirm our aspirations."

Galinaitis is married to Neoma Perry and they have four children.


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