Dr. Charles Elachi, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a vice
president of the California Institute of Technology, has been named one of the
winners of this year’s Takeda Awards for his work in developing spaceborne
radar instruments to monitor the global environment.

The awards, established last year by the Takeda Foundation of Japan,
honor individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievements in the creation
and application of new engineering knowledge to benefit human needs.

Elachi, an expert in imaging radar and other remote-sensing
technologies, shares his prize for work benefiting the environment with two
Japanese researchers, Nobuyoshi Fugono of Advanced Telecommunications
Research Institute International, Kyoto, and Ken’ichi Okamoto of Osaka
Prefecture University. The Takeda Foundation also announced two other
awards honoring researchers working in electronics and life sciences.

Born in Lebanon, Elachi joined JPL in 1971 after graduating from
Caltech. He served in a variety of research and management positions before
being named the Laboratory’s director in 2001. As a researcher he is perhaps
best known for his role in the development of a series of imaging radar systems
for the Space Shuttle that allow scientists to penetrate clouds and even the top
layers of soil in arid regions, offering scientifically fruitful hints of what lies

The author of more than 200 publications on space and planetary
exploration, Elachi has served as principal investigator on numerous NASA
projects and is currently team leader of the Titan radar experiment on the
Cassini mission to Saturn.

In 1988, the Los Angeles Times selected him as one of “Southern
California’s rising stars who will make a difference in L.A.” In 1989, Asteroid
1982 SU was renamed 4116 Elachi in recognition of his contribution to
planetary exploration. The same year, at the age of 42, he was elected to the
National Academy of Engineering.

He has participated in a number of archaeological expeditions in the
Egyptian Desert, the Arabian Peninsula, and the western Chinese desert in
search of old trading routes and buried cities using satellite data.

Elachi will receive half of a monetary award of 100 million yen
(approximately U.S. $833,000); the other half will be shared by his Japanese co-
honorees. The awards will be presented at a ceremony November 20 in Tokyo.

The Takeda Foundation was established in 2001 by Ikuo Takeda,
founder of instrument manufacturer Advantest Corp. The awards announced
today are the second annual prizes given by the foundation. Caltech manages