Allen E. Puckett
National Medal of Technology and Innovation
For their technological contributions and leadership in the initiation and development of geostationary communications satellites, significantly improving worldwide communications and giving the United States international preeminence in the construction of commercial satellites.
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BirthJuly 25, 1919
Awarded WithHarold Rosen
Country of BirthUSA
Key ContributionsCommercial Satellite Production
Awarded byRonald Wilson Reagan
EducationCalifornia Institute of Technology
Areas of ImpactTransportation
Communication & Information
AffiliationsHughes Aircraft Company
Early in his career, Allen E. Puckett’s Ph.D. research laid the foundation for designing triangular-shaped delta wings found on aircraft, such as supersonic fighter jets, the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and the Space Shuttle orbiter. Puckett’s delta wing theory, which predicts the aerodynamics of supersonic aircraft, continues to be applied in the production of modern aircraft.
After receiving his Ph.D., Puckett joined Hughes Aircraft Corp., switching his area of research to electronics. At Hughes, Puckett was instrumental in bringing about a new era in satellite communications. He championed the development of the world’s first geosynchronous satellite, allowing the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games to be broadcast live to the world.
During the 1950s, Puckett was one of the United States’ top defense and technology officials. He pioneered the technology of the long-range radar guided missile and missile defense systems, and worked on a number of defense related projects for the U.S. government.
By Jen Santisi