NRL's Dr. Kruer Receives ONR Bisson Award

11/15/2002 - 53-02r
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Dr. Mel Kruer, of the Optical Sciences Division (OSD) of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), is the recipient of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Arthur E. Bisson Award for Naval Technology Achievement. Dr. Kruer was recognized for "his outstanding technical achievements and scientific leadership in the development and transition of focal plane arrays into Navy missile seekers, missile threat warning systems, and reconnaissance cameras to the Navy TARPS-CD and SHARP systems." He received his award at a ceremony held at ONR on October 8.

The Bisson award is named in honor of the late Dr. Arthur E. Bisson who provided a model of principled, effective leadership in transitioning science and technology (S&T) to naval capabilities. The award is granted annually to a current or former Department of the Navy (DoN) scientist, engineer or S&T program manager whose program best exemplifies the qualities of Dr. Bisson's achievement, by having a significant, direct transitional impact from S&T to naval operations or systems in the last five years. Such impact shall be so outstanding as to be widely recognized in the DoN and the relevant technical community nationally.

According to the award nomination, "Dr. Kruer's staring infrared focal planes are now used in Navy missile seekers, missile threat warning systems, and electro-optical cameras for reconnaissance. He has guided the development of very large visible and infrared focal plane array capabilities for staring reconnaissance cameras that have transitioned into the Navy F-14 TARPS-CD and F-18 SHARP reconnaissance pod programs. Because of his outstanding contributions to this important development, Dr. Kruer is highly deserving of this prestigious award."

Dr. Kruer earned his B.A. Magna Cum Laude (physics) from Bellarmine College in 1964 and his M.S. and Ph.D from Catholic University, Washington, DC, in 1970 and 1971 respectively.

Dr. Kruer joined NRL in 1971 as a research physicist in the OSD working on the problem of optical countermeasures and performed pioneering research on the effects of laser-induced damage in optical infrared detectors and sensor systems. Dr. Kruer became head of the Sensor Technology Section in 1980, executing and directing the Navy Focal Plane Array Development program and the Fly's Eye program that developed a new two color infrared approach to airborne missile warning. His infrared array development efforts were directed toward staring mid-wave arrays and multi-color arrays while other services efforts were directed toward scanning long-wave infrared arrays. Dr. Kruer also expanded the section's capabilities to become the lead DoD laboratory for evaluating developmental infrared focal plane arrays and for developing multi-color infrared staring arrays and associated signal processing techniques. During the last six years, he has developed new reconnaissance camera and ground station capabilities that have placed NRL in the forefront of tactical electro-optical reconnaissance camera research and development.

Dr. Kruer's numerous awards include the NRL Award of Merit for Group Achievement (Fly's Eye Program) 1990; Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, 1998; NRL Award of Merit for Group Achievement (TARPS-CD Pentagon Demonstration) 1998; Technology Transfer Award, 1998; and five Alan Berman Publication Awards, including the 2001 publication on the SHARP Prototype Program. He holds 10 patent awards and has co-authored over 180 publications and NRL formal reports.

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