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October 28, 1970 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-28

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Page Eight


Wednesday, October 28, 19701

Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesday, October 28, 1970 4

(Continued from Page 1) "We
view military situations from breakthi
airplanes and satellites orbiting plains W
the earth. liam Bri
Although the exact capabili- is the a
ties of military infrared systems earth th
are classified, an airborne infra- smog wi
red device available for civilian "I wo
use can pick up objects as small the resea
as three-feet by three-feet,, a some in
1970 Willow Run report says. Browns
Radical groups have charged it has n
Willow Run's infrared work fair tos
helped kill revolutionary C h e
Guevara in Bolivia. An article logy we'
in the New Republic magazine enced m
claims an infrared survey of naissanc
Bolivia in the summer of 1967
located Guevara and his guer- H .
rilla band and followed their
movements. "I
"It seems highly likely that
the information on that film devel
was interpreted by Special Forc-
es members - trained by Uni- COntra
versity of Michigan scientists - direct
who were in Bolivia under CIA
and Pentagon orders," the ar- tories
ticle alleges.
Norman and other University
research officials vehemently
deny the allegations. "Bolivia is Like i
false," says Legault. "We've abilities
trained people, but I don't know tems are
who." A 196
In the radar field, Willow Run however
researchers have played a key target i
role in the development of high- capablec
resolution imaging radar as well radius,d
as major advances in ground les to a
and air-based radar designed to recordin
pick up moving objects such as onds the
trucks and people, of all de






made a fundamental
rough in radar," ex-
illow Run Director Wil-
own. "What this permits
ability to look at the
hrough clouds, rain and
th good acuity."
uld assume that some of
arch we've done has had
fluence on the uses of
in infrared and radar,"
says modestly. "I hope
not been negligible. It's
say some of the techno-
ye developed has influ-
modern military recon-
ce systems."

or radar for the Air Force as
part of a classified aerospace
radar program.
"What we're working on is
improving the capability with
better resolving power and high-
er contrast - we want to know
how to make a better image,"
explains Leonard Porcello, as-
sociate director of Willow Run.
Porcello says the eventual
goal of the program is to be
able to make terrain pictures
having "photographic clarity"
at night and during bad weath-
"As it stands now, our tech-
nology allows us to sense radia-

.L3{:;? :;:?{.. is:{^:r.*5 *{ s i <%." A:i^":.5." . : *
's fair to say some of the technology we've
oped has influenced modern military re-
aissance systems," says William Brown,
tor of the University's Willow Run Labora-
, "I hope it has not been negligible."

Last year seven projects to-
taling over $500,000 dollars were
devoted to this purpose. Willow
Run operates two classified na-
tional information centers to
catalog data on infrared and ra-
dar signatures.
The Ballistic Missile Radia-
tion Analysis Center (BAMI-
RAC) is a "national center for
the collection, analysis and dis-
semination of information on
the radiation from ballistic mis-
siles in all phases of their
flight," explains a University
research summary.
The Infrared Information and
Analysis Center (IRIA) is a
similar clearinghouse for infor-
mation on infrared sensing in
These centers are more than
old-fashioned libraries, howev-
er, making use of computers to
store data, abstracts, and re-
ports. BAMIRAC does research
of its own on missile signatures
and both centers produce "state
of the art" reports summariz-
ing current developments.
IRIA holds classified annual
radar conference where secret
papers ar ecpresented. "About
700 people come and there are
only about 1,000 senior techni-
cal people in radar in the whole
country," Porcello says.
The second approach to im-
proving sensing capabilities is
the use of automatic data pro-
cessing to speed interpretation
of images. "Identification ought
not depend on a man's work,"
Legault says.
Much of the work involves
optical data processing based on
Willow Run's pioneering efforts

in lasers and holography (three-
dimensional pictures produced
by lasers).
While most of the funding for
remote sensing is provided by
the Defense Department, remote
sensing shows promising possi-
bilities for use in civilian life.
But research on civilian appli-
cations of remote sensing is in
its infancy, according to Le-
gault. "It became apparent only
about 1962 a number of things
the instruments could do could
be applied to non-military prob-
Remote sensing offers the pos-
sibility of collecting comprehen-
sive data over large areas of
land and water - a major re-
quirement in the fight to save
the environment.
"It's the technological basis
for what the space agency now
regards as its main objective-
earth orbiting resource satel-
lites," says Vice President Nor-
Infrared and radar techniques
can detect diseased crops, water,
thermal and air pollution, and
urban congestion as well as
enemy soldiers.
"The detection of thermal
pollution is a snap with in-
frared," Legault explains. "In
w a ter, particulate pollutants
have characteristic absorption
bands so you can tell what's
dumped into it."
Legault says that measuring
air pollution with infrared de-
vices is much more difficult be-
cause the pollutants are dis-
persed in low concentrations
and give very small infrared

Willow Run researchers have
developed a powerful aerial
scanner that senses 18 differ-
ent channels of radiation includ-
ing infrared, ultraviolet and
visible portions of the spectrum.
It produces an electrical output
which allows computer process-
ing of information.
Possible applications to urban
problems of the scanner and
other remote sensing instru-
ments include land use studies,
housing quality estimates and
transportation network plan-
Remote sensing may also be
used to detect fires, insect in-
festation, andsdrought in forest
and crop areas. The process has
already been used to map water
tables, gather information on ice
flows, find ocean shoals, and
pinpoint schools of fish and
land-based wildlife.
Infrared and r a d a r sensing
may eventually prospect for
minerals, adding to geologist's
information about the earth as
well as locating yet-undiscover-
ed accumulations of useful re-
For the past six years Willow
Run hastsponsored a symposium
on remote sensing of the envir-
onment at which experts from
around the world exchange in-
formation on the application of
sensing technology to meterol-
ogy, geology, oceanography, ag-
riculture, forestry and geogra-
The tremendous potential of
civilian remote sensing allay's
some of the misgivings of those
who developed the technique for


nfrared, the exact cap-
;of military radar sys-
e classified.
62. Willow Run report,
, describes a moving-
ndicator radar that is
of searching an 18 mile
detecting moving vehic-
range of 36 miles and
g on film within 90 sec-
radar characterizations
etectable moving targets.
w Run researchers are
uggling with the tech-
difficult problem of de-
techniques for a better
moving-target indicat-

tion all over t h e spectrum,"
Legault adds. "The major glitch
(problem) lies in interpretation
- weeding out images with in-
formation from t h e back-
Willow Run researchers are
taking two approaches to this
problem. First, they are collect-
ing data on radar and infrared
signatures - characteristics of
items such as vegetation and
military hardware - to be able,
at a future date, to tell them

-Daily-Jim wallace
Willow Run's radar laboratory

military target acquisition. They
tend to dwell on the peaceful
uses of infrared and steer clear
of its military applications.
Like many other tools man
has developed in his past, re-
mote sensing using infrared and
radar can be put to beneficial
or destructive use. It can ident-
ify Viet Cong for destruction on
the Ho Chi Minh trail or help
prevent starvation in underde-

veloped countries by warning of
crop blights and droughts.
Willow Run researchers de-
veloped these tools for the mili-
tary in a military context. Re-
mote sensing's eventual effects
will depend on how man uses it.
If the past performance of man-
kind is any indication, the fu-
ture is not encouraging.

You'll never -
go wrong by'
art supplies

now str


SVietnam and



goes oriental

Classif ieds

University researchers, espec-
ially those at Willow Run Lab-
oratories, have a long history of
helping the military prosecute
the war in Southeast Asia.
"The importance to the na-
tional defense of some of the
present and past research pro-
grams of the Willow Run staff,
especially in reconnaissance and
surveillance technology, w a s
brought into sharper focus by
the situation in Vietnam where
allied forces rely heavily upon
aerial surveillance for military
intelligence," explained the 1965-
66 President's Report to the
University activity connected
with military action in South-
east Asia began no later than
1961 when the geography de-
partment made a study of the
area for the Army.
The purpose of the contract
was to determine "the environ-
mental elements (weather a n d
climate, landforms, soil and
vegetation, native animals, dis-
eases and physical works of
man) in the coastal areas of
Southeast Asia which should be
considered in the design and
operation of all types of mili-
tary equipment," according to
the project report.
In the 1963-64 the University
initiated terrain surveys in
Thailand for the Air Force. This
effort, "making terrain and en-
vironmental surveys in Thailand
in cooperation with Cornell Uni-

"Strategies for Changing

AN INFRARED OBSERVATORY was constructed by the Uni-
versity's Wilow Run Laboratories on Mount Haleakala in Hawaii
to track ballistic missiles and satellites with advanced infrared
sensing devices. The $10 million installation, began in 1964, is now
run by industrial contractors under government contract.

versity," continued through
1964-65 according to that year's
President's Report.
The Tonkin Bay incident oc-
curred during this time and the
U.S. military operation in Viet-
nam changed from advising the
South Vietnamese to an Amer-
ican land war in Asia.
Several members of the Wil-

women's lib
NOW is the time to buy yourI
The University of Michigan Yearbook
Just return this coupon with $7.00 (check or money order payable
to the MICHIGANENSIAN) to the Student Publications Building,
420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48104. A receipt will be

-A 0

low Run research staff visited
Vietnam and Korea with official
government teams in the midst
of this period to consider sur-
veillance problems.
In 1966, Willow Run staff
members took "an active part"
in conducting the first Counter-
insurgency Research and De-
velopment Seminar for the mili-
tary, a conference dealing with
"assistance to emerging nations"
faced with wars of national li-
University researchers at this
time set up a counterinsurgency
school for Thai soldiers in Bang-
kok, teaching them aerial sur-
veillande techniques developed
at Willow Run.
By using such techniques, "the
Thai government can locate a
group of communists who come
in with military equipment.
Then the Thai military will send
in forces to capture the Com-
munist ringleaders," said George
Zissis, then head of Willow
Run's infrared physics program.
Willow Run researchers also
investigated the use of acoustic
and seismic techniques in South-

east Asia in detecting "guerrilla
Three years ago the exist-
ence of the Thailand projects
was publicized and the furor
caused a re-examination of Uni-
versity policies. Since then, the
University has steered clear of
direct activity in foreign coun-
The technology, though de-
veloped here continues to filter
out to the military and event-
tually to Vietnam and other
foreign battlefields.
Military research has a long
history at the University, James
Wilson, director of the Insti-
tute of Science and Technology,
points out that work on remote
sensing went back long before
there were any American troops
in South Vietnam.
Most of the effort here to aid
the Defense Department has
been carried out by Willow Run
Laboratories, which Norman
describes as being "in military-
oriented research and devel-
opment work."
"During World War II t h e
government turned heavily to a
few universities to run labs for
it," explains Wilson.
When the government decided
to continue these laboratories
after the close of the war, it
decided to set one up at the
University. "The aeronautical
engineering department was in-
terested in a defense problem -
computer developments and air
defense systems - and received
support from the government,"
Wilson says.
In 1946, the U.S. government
sold the University the Willow
Run site for one dollar and the
Michigan Aeronautical Research
Center, the predecessor of Wil-
low Run Laboratories, was es-
The same year the center init-
iated Project Wizard, one of the
earliest attempts to develop a
'defense against ballistic mis-
siles. This evolved four years
later into the development of
the BOMARC (Boeing Michigan
Aeronautical Center) missile.
The University thus became
the first and only school to
have a missile named after it.
Later, during the 1950's, Wil-
low Run investigators worked on
Project Adis, an attempt to de-

sign an integrated system of air
Another of Willow Run's early
accomplishments was the devel-
opment of one of the first com-
puters - MIDAC (Michigan Di-
gital Automatic Computer).
Willow Run's largest program
over the years was Project
Michigan, "a continuing pro-
gram of research and develop-
ment aimed at enhancing t h e
U.S. Army's long-term capabil-
ity in combat surveillance and
target acquisition," according to
a project report.
Project Michigan began in
1953 and is still in existence, on
paper at least. Most of its re-
search functions ended in 1968,
however. "There's still some
paper work lying around. It
wasn't cut off at one shot," Wil-
liam Brown, director of Willow
Run, explains.
Brown called the demise of
Project Michigan a "gigantic
"It was a victim of cuts in de-
fense funding," Brown explains.
"The Defense Department was
in a budget squeeze at the time
and we endured our share of the
Many of Willow Run's present
activities grew out of Project
Michigan - items such as mov-
ing-target-indicator radar, im-
age processing, imaging radar,
lasers and masers.
The project also brought the
laboratories deply into the fields
of acoustics, seismics, guidance
and navigation, data processing,
engineering psychology and
In 1960 Willow Run was
brought under the authority of
the Institute of Science and

Technology, a University unit
created the year before in re-
action to Russian space success.
"The Institute is sort of a
holding company with large
pieces, each of which have a
large amount of autonomy, and
different missions," says Wil-
In 1962, Willow Run accept-
ed a contract to build the
world's filrst infrared observa-
tory on Mount Haleakala in
Maui, Hawaii. The $10 million
project is to "study and track
the midcourse flights of ballis-
tic missiles and orbiting satel-
lites with advanced. infrared
sensing, measuring and record-
ing devices as well as m o r e
conventional astronomy.
The observatory is now oper-
ated by industrial organizations
under government contract,
although Willow Run received
$71,000 only last November for
the project. Brown describes the
sum as part of a closeout con-
Right now U.S. and South
Vietnamese forces are using in-
frared, radar and acoustic de-
vices to detect Viet Cong forces
in South Vietnam, Laos and
"I'm sure that in Vietnam
some of the surveillance of the
Ho Chi Minh trail where there
are trucks would involve h e a t
sensing equipment," says Vice
President for Research A. Geof-
frey Norman.
Norman acknowledges that
much of the basic technology for
military remote sensing w a s
developed by the University's
Willow Run Laboratories but in-
sists the University does n o t
build any of the devices actually
used to track Viet Cong.



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Day Calendar
Postgraduate Medicine Conf.: Advances
in Bedside Diagnosis, Towsley Center,
8:15 a.m.
Anatomy Seminar: P. Kruse, S. R.
Noble Found., "Production and Char-
acterization of Multiple Layer Popula-
tions of Animal Cells," S. Lecture Hall,
Med. Sci. II, 1:10 p.m.
Journalism Lecture: Edwin Diamond,
Post-Newsweek Stations, Wash., D.C.,
"watching the Watchdogs": Rackham
Amphi., 4 p.m.
Botany Seminar: G. Estabrook, "A
Method for measuring the interdepend-
ence of Qualitative Variables," 1139 Nat.
Sci. Bldg., 4 p.m.
Physics Colloquium: G. Weinrich,
"The Electrodynamics of a Relativistic
Capacitor," P&A Colloq. Rm., 4 p.m.
Statistics Seminar: F. J. Beutler, "On
the Statistics of Random Pulse Pro-
cesses," 4205 Angell Hall, 4 p.m.
Speech Student Lab Theater: "The
Medium" and "Dutchman,'' Arena
Theatre, Frieze Bldg., 4:10 p.m.

Come in and browse.
Get required books for the rest of the term

Contemporary Music Festival: Mich-
igan Chamber Ensemble, Ginastera,
guest composer, N. Hauenstein, J. Mc-
Collum, D. Mehta and C. Roe, guest
artists: Rackham Lect. Hall, 8 p.m.
Professional Theatre Program: "Little
Murders," Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre,
8 p.m.


General Notices
Career Planning meeting for under-
grads interested in Clinical Psychology:
Members of faculty of psychology dept.
will meet with Srs. interested, and ad-
vise about applic: to APA-Approved
Doctoral Progs. in Clin. Psych., Thurs.,
Oct. 29, Aud. B, Angell Hall, 8 p.m.
Foreign Visitors
Following person will be in rms. 22-
24, Mich. Union, (764-2148): T. Perez
de Guzman, Cabinet, Seville, Spain, Oct.
Placement Service
Ann Arbor job opening: other jobs
listed at 3200 S.A.B.
Bendix Commercial Service Corp., Bio-
Medical Service Engr., assoc. degree in
electronics with courses in chem., phy-
siology, & physics, no. exper. nec.
Boise C. Spinning, Inc., account ex-
ecutive, pref. BA in journ., printing
exper. desirable; this is an advertising
Clients of Management Recruiters,
Key Punch Operator, exper. in key-
punching, prefer with IBM 029, mature.
Arts School of the Society of Arts
and Crafts, registrar, bachelor's degree,
exper., in admin., admissions, super-
vision, some guidance and counseling.

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