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Paul R. Drouilhet, Jr.
Former Group Leader of Air Traffic Control Group (1970)

Paul R. Drouilhet, Jr. received the BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering in June 1955 and EE degree in February 1957, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1957 to 1959, he was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, where he participated in the development and test of long-range, air-ground communications techniques. In 1959 he joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a member of the technical staff. From 1959 to 1970 he was active in the development of communication techniques for passive and active satellite systems, and for very-low-frequency radio channels.

In 1970 he helped establish a program in the development of air traffic control technology for the FAA, and was appointed Group Leader of the newly formed Air Traffic Control Group. He led the development of two major new surveillance systems for the FAA: the Discrete Address Beacon System, now known as Mode S, and the Moving Target Detector Doppler radar processing system, which became the basis for the ASR-9.

In 1972 he was appointed Associate Division Head of the Air Traffic Control Division. Under his leadership the Air Traffic Control program expanded to include the development of an airborne traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS), and techniques for the use of radar to detect and identify severe weather phenomena, including microbursts,which led to the TDWR.

Mr. Drouilhet was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 1986 for his contributions to air traffic control systems. He received the FAA Associate Administrator Award in 1993, the 1994 Air Traffic Control Association Walter A. Partenau Award for Outstanding Achievement in Air Traffic Control, and the 1996 Discover Award for Technical Innovation (Aviation and Aerospace category) for the development of the GPS Squitter concept.

Mr. Drouilhet is an active pilot, with ATP and instructor ratings.

(Biography excerpt from Discover Magazine)

The Story of Mode S: An Air Traffic Control Data Link Technology last modified: 12.06.2000