The air up there

Before the era of jet planes, scientists didn’t realize that thunderstorm cells could stretch as high as 90,000 feet into the atmosphere.

PlanePanel“No one had flown high enough to see they could reach that altitude,” says Lee M. Etnyre, Phys’60.

In those days, to study the wind shear in Earth’s upper atmosphere, the U.S. Navy would launch a rocket from an airplane that released an instrument data recording package at high altitude, and then watch it descend. A large radar antenna on top of the plane would track the descending package to help measure wind shear and speed at high altitude. “It was an early way to measure the jet stream,” Etnyre says.

While working for the U.S. Naval Air Development Center in the early 1960s, Etnyre patented this system, which takes that analog aircraft navigation data and converts it to a digital representation of the plane’s position compared to a fixed location on the ground.

“I learned how to use existing devices and technology, originally designed with other applications in mind, and integrate them into a unique combination to solve a new technical problem,” Etnyre says.

Etnyre also holds a patent for a satellite navigation system that improves an aircraft’s ability to land safely when adverse weather conditions limit visibility, and another to suppress duplication of aircraft surveillance images on a cockpit display of nearby air traffic currently used in all of Garmin’s cockpit displays of air traffic.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

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Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

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Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

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Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

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Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

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