William Theodore Kim Johnson, Ph.D. a long time scientist and engineer at the Cal Tech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, died September 8th. He was suffering from ALS. Dr. Johnson joined JPL in 1975 and worked there until his death. In the words of one of his colleagues: "Throughout his career, Bill made indelible contributions to design, performance analysis and/or management on just about all of the major radar missions that JPL has built and flown, which is a legacy that few of us can claim."
Dr. Johnson played an important role in the development of the SeaSAT radar, an earth-orbiting satellite, Magellan, a Venus orbiting radar, and Cassini, which created the first ever map of the surface of Saturn s moon, Titan. He worked also with the Italian space agency to develop two Mars sounders, MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface Ionosphere Sounding) and SHARAD (Shallow Radar) which is flying on the U.S. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. More recently Dr. Johnson was involved in the development of the next generation of earth-orbiting synthetic aperture radars.