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Inventor of Long-Range Air Communications with Conformal Antennas Inducted into Hall of Fame

March 19, 2018
Post by Gregory "Lars" Gunnerson

Howard S. Jones, Jr. has been posthumously honored as a 2018 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his innovative work in developing conformal antennas.  This invention has been crucial for the development of  enhanced capabilities for spacecraft, rockets and other aeronautical technologies.

March 1, 2018 marked the 41st anniversary of the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 4,010,470, a patent titled “Multi-function integrated radome-antenna system” in which Jones is named as the sole inventor. Technology disclosed in the ‘470 patent has since been incorporated into aircraft for both military and space applications, including the Patriot guided missile and NASA’s Voyager spacecraft.

Jones earned his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Physics from Virginia Union University in 1943. Upon graduating, Jones served two years in the U.S. Army during WWII as a Signal Corps specialist in Japan and taught mechanical engineering subjects to Army officers.  Jones also worked “as a researcher at the Ordnance Development Division, later known as Harry Diamond Laboratories, of the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Jones’ research work focused on antenna technology and he received 31 patents during his 34-year career at the Army research lab. By the mid-1970s, Jones was working on solving the problem of external antennas creating drag on missiles and rockets. Antennas were important not only for high-precision guidance systems but also to receive electronic detonation signals over a long distance. Working with copper wire, Jones was able to develop antenna arrays which conformed to the shape of missile casings and aircraft exteriors, reducing drag, weight and costs while also improving the performance of the antenna."

We join in celebration of the life of Inventor Howard S. Jones, Jr. for this fantastic achievement!

Gregory “Lars” Gunnerson is a Patent Attorney in the Mechanical and Electrical Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit www.ipmvs.com or contact Lars directly via email at gregory.gunnerson@ipmvs.com.


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