Satellite industry pioneer Tom Hudspeth died May 27 after several years of declining health. Hudspeth, 89, made his mark on satellite history as a member of the team that designed Syncom 2, the first commercial communications satellite placed in geostationary orbit.
Hudspeth began his career in 1946 at the Hughes Aircraft Co.’s radio department in Culver City, Calif. Prior to working on satellites, Hudspeth worked on the pulse Doppler radar. He later focused his work on the antenna and microwave portions of satellites.
Hudspeth also worked on non-space projects such as the development in the 1990s of a low- noise amplifier for a magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, system under development at California Institute of Technology, his alma mater. At the time, Hudspeth still was working two days a week in the El Segundo offices of Hughes Space & Communications, which was purchased by Boeing in October 2000.