[sarex] Dick Daniels, W4PUJ
Frank H. Bauer
ka3hdo at verizon.net
Sun Feb 19 12:18:49 PST 2012
Since I stepped down from the ARISS International Chair position in 2009, I
have not been very prolific on the SAREX listserv. But if you do not get
ANS, you might not have seen that Dick Daniels, W4PUJ, a great SAREX & ARISS
volunteer, just passed away.
I have included the phenomenal description of Dick and his contributions to
AMSAT, that was authored by renown AMSAT member Jan King, W3GEY/VK4GEY for
>From my perspective, Dick was one of AMSAT's best of the best..a solid
contributor and a solid human being. Dick continually provided the ARISS
and the SAREX teams outstanding guidance, mentoring and advice over the
years. His knowledge of the inner workings at NASA Headquarters and his
thorough understanding of how the NASA political winds were blowing helped
tremendously in promoting amateur radio on Human Spaceflight Vehicles. Dick
was instrumental in getting several NASA agreements for the SAREX program
solidified. And he made it a point to attend and contribute to all the
ARISS meetings held in the Washington DC area. W4PUJ supported all the
ARISS contacts in the DC area as photographer as well as manning the booth
and answering questions at our events. And Dick and his wife Jackie were
prime helpers for the two AMSAT symposiums that my wife Janet and I
Dick was one fine gentleman. And you can see that he was a phenomenal
Amateur Radio Humans Spaceflight supporter. I will miss Dick Daniels,
W4PUJ, tremendously. My condolences to all who knew Dick. And especially
to his wife Jackie and his family.
73, Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
Dick Daniels (W4PUJ) - SK, 1932 - 2012
By Jan A. King W3GEY/VK4GEY
One of AMSAT's most important, admired and well loved members, Dick Daniels,
W4PUJ, ex WA4DGU, died on February 14, 2012. He lost his battle with lung
cancer, diagnosed only at Christmas time 2011. Dick achieved so much working
for AMSAT that it is virtually impossible to enumerate his individual
accomplishments. And we cannot overestimate the importance of his sustained
support. Dick was many things to us but, among them he was our record
keeper, photographic recorder, and the de facto AMSAT historian. So, his
loss also represents the loss of many memories of the things we did and the
places we've gone as an organization, which simply can't be recorded or kept
except in a mind. So, our loss is huge! The records of our earlier
spacecraft developments, starting with Australis-OSCAR-5 and continuing to
pre- sent, amount to over 6,000 individual (non-duplicate) 35 mm slides.
These have since been digitized. These were all kept and maintained by him.
Many of the photos were his own.
Dick was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 19, 1932. He received a BBA degree
from the University of Cincinnati in Business Management in
1956 and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Graduate School
in 1957. He joined NASA HQ in 1961 where he remained until his retirement in
1994. Dick became a licensed radio amateur in 1959. He was involved with the
formation of AMSAT in 1970 and served on the AMSAT Board of Directors from
1992 to 2003.
Dick was one of the initial AMSAT members and was Life Member 11. His first
major contribution to amateur radio was his work to obtain per- mission from
the NASA Administrator (then James Fletcher) and the NOAA Administrator
(then Jack Townsend) for the launch of Australis- OSCAR-5. It was Dick who
pushed our AMSAT letter proposal for the launch of AO-5 through the NASA and
NOAA systems. Dick was also heav- ily involved in our efforts to license AO5
with the FCC. That was a much bigger deal back in 1970 than it is today. Few
will appreciate the resistance we had within the system from the TIROS
project office at NASA/GSFC and what had to be done to overcome it. Few will
also remember the support we had from places we didn't expect, but, with
Dick's help and all of us pushing - we were in "business" - the "business"
of building satellites for free.
Dick became AMSAT-NA's primary mechanical designer and technician, having
helped design and then assemble just about every spacecraft structure we
launched starting with AMSAT-OSCAR-6. At the beginning of the Phase-3 era it
became clear that AMSAT needed to go into the propulsion business if we were
going to get to higher orbits and Dick took on the role of chief propulsion
expert, in addition to his mechanical technician duties. Dick and I
installed the Thiokol solid propellant kick motor into the ill-fated
Phase-3A satellite once it arrived in French Guiana and it was Dick, working
with MBB who loaded the bi-propellant fuels (UDMH or AZ-50 and N2O4)
on-board AO-10, AO-13 and AO-40 (all very dangerous compounds). Even though
the rocket motor each time was pure German technology, Dick was the one we
all trusted to handle the exacting task of propellant loading.
He also developed, assembled and tested all of the PFAs (propellant flow
assembly) units that controlled the fuel flow and pressurization of each of
the propulsion systems. He also contributed significantly to their design
details. The utilization of real, high performance propulsion systems on
small satellites is still something no other small satellite organization
other than AMSAT has successfully achieved. Few have even attempted to
follow in our footsteps. We've had our difficulties with rocket motors (and
what organization that has tried to use them has not?) but, at least AO-13
was perfect. No professional organization has ever done much better than the
perform- ance of that propulsion system. And, in large measure, the success
of that system can be credited to Dick Daniels. The other P3 satel- lites,
at least had partially successful motor firings, except for Phase-3A which
was lost due to a launch vehicle failure, hence we never had a chance to
fire our solid rocket motor.
Dick constructed the AO-6 2M/10M repeater (or transponder) designed by Perry
Klein (W3PK) and Karl Meinzer (DJ4ZC). He also constructed the follow-on
unit flown on AO-7. He assembled major portions of the receiver units
forming both the command system and packet communica- tions system developed
by Tom Clark (W3IWI) for the four Microsat spacecraft launched in 1990. Dick
assembled so much hardware that if you were to look at each individual
sub-assembly that he built or worked on - as they exist in our master photo
set - and you viewed each slide for 10 seconds, it would take over an hour
to view all of them! That is a lot of space flight hardware.
Dick loved space flight, he loved the challenge represented by the amateur
satellite program and he loved working with our many friends around the
world. Together we accomplished something that will take years before others
reproduce. More importantly, with Dick's huge support we actually created a
new industry. Few lives can claim to have done that. The Small Satellite
Industry is very alive and well and, as a sector of all space commerce it is
now the fastest growing area. If Dick had not made his contributions, AMSAT
would have had a very different history but, because of him and others who
worked so hard to get things started, AMSAT is at the root of all of today's
small satellite technology. This is a fact, not wishful thinking.
Dick also loved nature and the outdoors. We spent many happy times hiking in
the mountains of Virginia, using the "famous" Daniels "cabin" as a base
camp. We had great times chasing butterflies and watching sea turtles in
French Guiana. Dick has a wonderful family and even though AMSAT took a
significant fraction of his free time his daughter Kathy and his son Robert
are proud of his accomplish- ments. Like all AMSAT "widows" Jackie supported
Dicks "hobby" with enthusiasm and never complained about her time alone when
Dick was integrating AMSAT spacecraft on the night shift (sometimes at home
and sometimes with me at the AMSAT lab). His family will miss him terribly
as he was not just an average father and husband.
Dick spent a lot of time working on the gantry level of many launch
vehicles, installing AMSAT spacecraft on Delta and Ariane launchers and, as
a NASA-HQ employee, he built more space flight hardware in his basement than
anyone working for NASA in Washington, D.C. ever even saw in a lifetime. He
loved life and he made his count. And he made a huge difference to the
outcome of our hobby and our belief
in what an individual can do in space.
So, we've lost someone that meant a lot to us all and someone who will be
impossible to replace. History may repeat itself but, it will be a long time
before someone like Dick Daniels, with his uni- que set of skills comes our
way again. So, W4PUJ is SK. This is a sad day for amateur radio and to the
small satellite space commun- ity and even more for those of us who loved
Dick, you made a difference and it will be a long time still before others
reach where you have been. What you did wasn't just worthwhile
- IT WAS FANTASTIC! I'll never forget our time working together! It was an
amazing hobby, really! An amazing LIFE!
Jan A. King, W3GEY/VK4GEY
A memorial service will be held for Dick Daniels, W4PUJ on Saturday,
February 25 at 1:00PM at Little Falls Presbyterian Church, 6025 Little Falls
Rd, Arlington VA 22207. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a
contribution to: Capital Caring, 950 N Glebe Rd #500, Arlington VA 22203.
This is the organization that provided hospice care for Dick.
Donations in memory of Dick can also be made on-line:
E-mail messages of condolence sent to martha at amsat.org will be given to
For those planning to attend Dick Daniels Memorial Service from out of the
Washington DC area, a block of rooms has been reserved by the family.
Reservations must be made by Tuesday at 4:00 PM EST. Go to:
http://tinyurl.com/Daniels-AMSAT (Holiday Inn)
More information about the SAREX