APL Colloquium

January 25, 2019

Colloquium Topic: Space Age Intelligence … Cold War to Hot War

Dr. John O’Hara will discuss why the US and its allies lacked intelligence on the military capabilities of the Soviet Union during the Iron Curtain days of the cold war, and the systems that were created to eventually obtain the required intelligence. The talk will include high performance aircraft as well as various space satellites. Dr. O’Hara will describe the strengths and weaknesses of the various programs and the rationale for their selection, and will also discuss how these systems are used in modern warfare.

Colloquium Speaker: John O'Hara

Dr. John O’Hara has a BSEE from the University of Arizona, a MSEE from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D in Electronic Engineering is from the Catholic University of America. He served in the US Air Force as both an enlisted man and a commissioned officer and is a graduate of the National War College.

During a 55 year career with the National Security Agency he held many significant positions including being a design engineer for special purpose systems, Chief of a major satellite program, Chief of all NSA worldwide ELINT (electronic intelligence) programs, Chief of NSA Advanced Research, and NSA Deputy Chief Scientist.

One of his major accomplishments was breaking out the first signals transmitted from the moon by the USSR in 1966.

He has received many awards from NSA and from technical organizations. He is a member of the AOC technology hall of fame and was the recipient of the 2007 AOC gold medal award.