Russell C. Newhouse

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1965 Dancing in Kwajalein

Russell Conwell Newhouse (1906–1998) made many contributions to the advancement of aviation in a distinguished career running from the late 1920s into the 1970s. He was the Director of the Radar Laboratory for the Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1958 to 1968.


Newhouse was born in Clyde, Ohio, on December 17, 1906. At the age of ten, he moved with his parents to a farm in Delaware County near Ostrander, where he completed his elementary and high school education.

He matriculated at Ohio State University from 1925, graduating in 1929 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree. His senior thesis, "An Electromagnetic Altimeter",[1] Based on the work of Professor W. L. Everitt, was on the subject of a frequency modulated radio altimeter for aircraft. He was hired by Bell Laboratories as a member of the technical staff in the Toll Systems Department of the Laboratories. After three months, he returned to Ohio State under a Fellowship granted by the Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics to permit work with Professor Everitt to develop the radio altimeter. [2][3] He received a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree in 1930.

While at Ohio State, he joined the Alpha Nu chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and is considered a notable Pi Kappa Phi.[4]

He received the 1938 Lawrence B. Sperry award for the development and first practical application of the radio altimeter. In 1939 he transferred to the television research group at Bell Laboratories. With the approach of war emergency in 1940, he returned to Specialty Products at Bell Laboratories where he supervised the circuit development of a number of radars for aircraft and ground service. By 1947, he was directing the efforts of a group engaged in the development of radar for commercial applications and of radio-telephone sets for aircraft and shipboard service.

1961, he was appointed by the FAA Administrator Najeeb Halaby to be a member of Project Beacon,[5] a group which published the "Report of the Task Force on Air Traffic Control" in October 1961. This report made recommendations for the future of the nation's air navigation and traffic control system.

He was a member of the Millburn Township, New Jersey School Board for many years, and was its president for four of those years.

1938 Lawrence Sperry Award Certificate

Newhouse and his wife Clara Lucille have one son, Alan,[6] now a retired senior executive service civilian in the US government whose career focused on nuclear engineering within the Navy, Atomic Energy Commission, Department of Energy, and NASA.

Major projects[edit]

Newhouse was responsible for the development of all of the radars of the Nike Zeus Anti-Missile Missile Defense System, including being responsible for field support, test planning, and data analysis for the Zeus radars in operation at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic: White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and Kwajalein Atoll Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. He was also responsible for the development of the Missile Site Array Radar of the Nike X Anti-Missile Defense System.


  • Recipient of the 1967 Pioneer Award Aviation along with Lloyd Espenshied for his work on frequency modulated radio altimeters[7]
  • Recipient of The Lawrence Sperry Award – 1938[8]
  • The Ohio State University Distinguished Alumni Award, 1959[9]


Title Co-author Patent number Filing date Issue date Assignor(s) to
System and Method of Determining Distances William C. Tinus[10] 2083344 Apr 6, 1934 Jun 8, 1937 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Radiant Energy Distance Measuring System William H.C. Higgins 2206896 Nov 16, 1938 Jul 9, 1940 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Radiant Energy Distance Measuring System Richard F. Lane 2206903 Nov 16, 1938 Jul 9, 1940 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Measurement of Frequency Modulated Waves 2218923 Jul 26, 1939 Oct 22, 1940 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Radio Speed and Drift Indicator 2223224 Jun 24, 1939 Nov 1940 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Radiant Energy Distance Measuring System 2247662 Nov 16, 1938 Jul 1, 1941 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Radiant Energy Distance Measuring System 2261272 Aug 7, 1940 Nov 4, 1941 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Aircraft Blind Landing System 2405231 Mar 31, 1942 Aug 6, 1946 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Altitude Guiding System for Aircraft 2416342 Dec 3, 1941 Feb 25, 1947 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Distance Measuring System 2426232 Feb 5, 1944 Aug 1947 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Canadian Patents Database – AIRCRAFT BLIND LANDING SYSTEM CPC 343/76 Jan 13, 1948 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Observer-Controlled Television System Frederick W. Reynolds 2516069 Jul 29, 1947 Jul 1950 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Voltage Supply Apparatus Joseph E. Corbin 2532697 Sep 11, 1948 Dec 5, 1950 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Deflecting System 2821657 May 16, 1955 Jan 1958 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Deflection Circuit for Cathode Ray Tubes Keith R. Carpenter, Richard F. Lane 2954502 Nov 10, 1958 Sep 27, 1960 Bell Telephone Laboratories
Proportional Navigation Computer 3013722 Jan 18, 1957 Dec 19, 1961 Secretary of the Navy
Vectoring Phase Simulator 2971269 Jan 18, 1957 Feb 14, 1961 Secretary of the Navy

External links[edit]