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Ramo also was known for having a wry sense of humor. In the 1950s, when one of TRW’s first missiles rose about 15 centimeters off the ground before toppling over and exploding, Ramo reportedly beamed and said, “Now that we know the thing can fly, all we have to do is improve its range a bit.”
Ramo, known as the “R” in TRW or simply “Si” to his friends and family, died on 27 June at the age of 103.
Ramo and Wooldridge left [Hughes Aircraft Co.] in 1953 to form Ramo-Wooldridge Corp. in Los Angeles. The same year, U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration awarded a contract to the new company to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles for the Air Force. ICBMs were designed to deliver nuclear weapons.
In essence, Eisenhower entrusted a project that he considered more complex than building the atomic bomb to two young scientists who, at the time, were working out of a former barbershop. With the contract in hand, Ramo and Wooldridge moved to larger quarters—an empty church in Inglewood, Calif.—where they removed pews to make room for their workshop.
In 1958 Ramo-Wooldridge’s Atlas rocket carried the U.S. Army SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay) satellite more than 8,000 kilometers downrange. Atlas could deliver a nuclear warhead up to that distance in less than 60 minutes. The rocket was never used for that purpose, however. Before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four astronauts in Earth’s orbit as part of NASA’s Project Mercury. The rocket was also the foundation for a family of space-launch vehicles including the Atlas Agena and the Atlas Centaur.
Ramo-Wooldridge merged in 1958 with Thompson Products, a manufacturer of aircraft engine components—becoming Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, or TRW."
- IntelOpen Hardware Design Engineer, 21045 - present
- CircuitCoEmbedded Systems Developer, 2013 - 2015
- Texas InstrumentsEmbedded Linux Developer, 2010 - 2013
I am an embedded systems engineer specializing in the integration of hardware and software at the lowest levels utilizing Open Source tools, bootloaders, and operating systems such as Linux to rapidly produce quality products. Past product developments have included the TCSX-1 thin client for Advantage Business Computer Systems, the M5900 handheld for American Microsystems Ltd., and the PandaBoard for Texas Instruments.
My specialty is complex problem solving to provide rapid solutions to both hardware and software issues. This includes reverse engineering existing legacy projects as well as processing, assimilating and filtering large amounts of datasheets, schematics, software source code, and management specifications.