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Oral-History:Warren A. Kesselman

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[[Category:People and organizations|Kesselman]] [[Category:Government|Kesselman]] [[Category:Fields, waves & electromagnetics|Kesselman]] [[Category:Electromagnetics|Kesselman]] [[Category:Electromagnetic compatibility|Kesselman]] [[Category:Communications|Kesselman]] [[Category:Communication equipment|Kesselman]] [[Category:Radio communication equipment|Kesselman]] [[Category:Engineering and society|Kesselman]] [[Category:Defense & security|Kesselman]] [[Category:World War II|Kesselman]] [[Category:Energy|Kesselman]] [[Category:Power engineering|Kesselman]] [[Category:Interference|Kesselman]] [[Category:Transportation|Kesselman]] [[Category:Automotive engineering|Kesselman]] [[Category:Computing and electronics|Kesselman]] [[Category:Measurement|Kesselman]] [[Category:Instrumentation|Kesselman]] [[Category:Standardization|Kesselman]] [[Category:Computing and electronics|Kesselman]] [[Category:Computing|Kesselman]] [[Category:IEEE|Kesselman]] [[Category:Geographical units|Kesselman]] [[Category:Societies|Kesselman]] [[Category:News|Kesselman]]

Revision as of 17:11, 22 July 2014

Contents

About Warren A. Kesselman

Warren A. Kesselman is an electrical engineer who specialized in communications, primarily radio interference regulation. After serving in the Navy, he received his degree from the Newark College of Engineering in 1950 and was subsequently hired by the Army at Fort Monmouth. He stayed at Monmouth for the next forty-five years until retirement. In the interview, Kesselman describes his work in radio frequency interference, explaining the problems that occurred when radio waves from electronic devices interrupted each other. He then discusses his activities in the development of new measurement systems for frequency ranges and the military’s attempt to standardize frequencies. He also describes the development of radiation hazard testing, and of the creation of the first electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) computer analysis programs in the 1960s and 70s. After an explanation of how frequencies are assigned and used by the different divisions of the military, Kesselman talks about his various changing roles at Monmouth, where he became the Chief of the COMSEC Division, the head of the EMC team, and the deputy director of the Space and Terrestrial Communcations Directorate. In the late 1980s, he helped develop the Mobile Subscriber Equipment, forerunner to cellular communications, and its effect on military communication during combat. Finally, Kesselman discusses his involvement in a number of societies and symposia in the communications field, including, briefly, IEEE.

About the Interview

WARREN A. KESSELMAN: An Interview Conducted by Fredrik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, 20 November 2003

Interview #428 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, IEEE History Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Warren A. Kesselman, an oral history conducted in 2003 by Fredrik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, Hoboken, NJ, USA.

Interview

Interview: Warren A. Kesselman
Interviewer: Fredrik Nebeker
Date: 20 November 2003
Place: Tinton Falls, New Jersey

Family and educational background

Nebeker:

When and where were you born?

Kesselman:

I was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1927.

Nebeker:

What did your father do for a living?

Kesselman:

My father was a Newark fireman and my mother was a housewife.

Nebeker:

Did you grow up in Newark?

Kesselman:

Yes, I grew up in Newark. And I went to Central High School, which was the technical high school there.

Nebeker:

Was that especially oriented toward science and engineering?

Kesselman:

It was electrical and mechanical along with the general high school courses. It offered hands-on practical experience as well.

Nebeker:

Were you always interested in science and technology as you were growing up?

Kesselman:

I guess I was, although I did not consciously think about it.

Nebeker:

Did you get into crystal radios or anything like that when you were a kid?

Kesselman:

Yes. I guess the first thing was a crystal radio where you wound some wire around an oatmeal box and got a crystal, a pair of earphones and a tuning capacitor. If you were lucky you got some kind of a signal.

Nebeker:

Do you remember if the Great Depression was hard on your family?

Kesselman:

I was in the Depression. It was hard. My father was young, new at his job and the low man in the Fire Department. There were some layoffs, so for a while he was not employed. However as a combination of family units so to speak we all survived. We lived in a 2½-story house that was owned by my grandmother. My grandmother, grandfather, mother, father and myself all lived in one area of the house, my father's mother was on the third floor and my aunt and uncle were on the first floor.

Nebeker:

You had an extended family in that house.

Kesselman:

Yes. That's how we survived, but I don't remember all the details.

Naval service

Nebeker:

You must remember World War II.

Kesselman:

Yes, I participated in World War II in the Navy. I joined the Navy in the beginning of 1945.

Nebeker:

When did you finish high school?

Kesselman:

January of '45.

Nebeker:

I see. You went straight into the Navy from high school?

Kesselman:

Right. I enlisted in the Navy Combat Aircrew program, which was one in which you were trained in some specialty connected with the Navy Air Corps. I was trained as an aviation machinist. Then we were sent to aerial gunnery school and I became a flexible gunner. My assignment would have been as a flight engineer on the PBY flying boats. My education in the Navy took up enough time so that the war was over by the time I was ready to participate out in the Pacific.

Nebeker:

Where were you trained?

Kesselman:

I was trained in Norman, Oklahoma and Pensacola, Florida.

Nebeker:

That doesn't sound like a likely place for Naval training.

Kesselman:

There was a Naval Air Station put up just outside the University of Oklahoma. Then I received gunnery training at Pensacola, Florida.

Nebeker:

What happened when the war ended?

Kesselman:

When the war ended I was stationed at Pensacola. The Navy was ready to get rid of most of us because they had too many hanging around. My enlistment period was not over, but they gave us the opportunity of taking an early out by signing into the Inactive Reserve for four years or enlisting for pilot training. I took that opportunity and came out in July of 1946 and started under the GI Bill at Newark College of Engineering (NCE) in September of 1946. It's still called the Newark College of Engineering, but it is part of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). At least, I think that's the way it works.

Undergraduate electrical engineering studies

Nebeker:

Did you choose electrical engineering?

Kesselman:

Yes.

Nebeker:

Why was that? Was your Navy experience an influence?

Kesselman:

No, Navy experience had nothing to do with it. It was influenced by my younger days of fooling around with electricity – sticking my hand in the sockets or whatever. In the high school course that I took I had to make a selection of either mechanical or electrical in my senior year. I took the electric shop. It was power oriented. In those days there was not anything in the college that dealt with electronics specifically.

Nebeker:

Is that right? When you started at NCE in 1946 the EE program there was mainly directed toward power engineering?

Kesselman:

Yes.

Nebeker:

Was there a communications option?

Kesselman:

No. I think we had maybe one lab course that might have had something to do with electron tubes, but that's about it.

Government employment at Fort Monmouth; radio frequency interference research

Nebeker:

What was your intention at the time?

Kesselman:

My intention at the time was to work for the power company.

Nebeker:

You were planning to be a power engineer?

Kesselman:

Right. At that time there were not very good job opportunities for electrical engineers.

Nebeker:

Are you talking about 1950 when you graduated?

Kesselman:

Yes, 1949-50. I had taken a test, a federal government test for a position called something like engineering trainee.

Nebeker:

Was this before you completed your degree?

Kesselman:

Right. A group of us took that at NCE in the spring of '49. The successful ones were sent down to Fort Monmouth or Picatinny Arsenal for interviews. There were maybe thirty of us out of NCE that came down to Fort Monmouth for an interview. There was one interviewer. He said something more or less to the effect that he could hire ten or twelve of us. I can't remember the exact number. He said, "You have all had the same engineering background, so when I speak to you I want to know why you're different." We went in singly, and I guess I was one of the people that convinced him I had some practical experience and background – at least the fooling around with tools.

Nebeker:

Do you think your practical background was important?

Kesselman:

He was looking for practical background. I guess the key thing was that I was putting together a 10-inch television kit at the time.

Nebeker:

Just on your own?

Kesselman:

Just on my own.

Nebeker:

Was it a Heath kit?

Kesselman:

No, it was a kit put out by RCA. Anyway, when he asked what I could do with my hands I mentioned that. Then he asked how much I had invested in it. It was around $180. He said, "If you have that much faith in yourself I'll hire you."

Nebeker:

That was a fair amount of money back then to put into something like that.

Kesselman:

Yes.

Nebeker:

Were you hoping to move into electronics?

Kesselman:

No, I was just looking for job opportunities. A contingent of the program was that I work for the summer.

Nebeker:

Was that the summer of '49?

Kesselman:

Yes. Then we were given a leave of absence to go finish out our senior year. Those who returned with a diploma were reinstated; those who didn't return with diploma had their employment terminated. So I returned with a diploma.

Nebeker:

Was this at Fort Monmouth?

Kesselman:

Yes. At the time I had no other employment opportunities. I did not stop looking. I had the option of not going back there. But I went back with the idea that I would spend five years or so there and then maybe go elsewhere. Forty-five years later I retired.

Nebeker:

What did you work on initially at Fort Monmouth?

Kesselman:

The program took the group of us and presented all of Fort Monmouth's opportunities. There were three laboratories at Fort Monmouth at the time: the communications lab, the radar lab and the components lab. They took the group around to the different locations, explained the programs and et cetera, and then when it was all over they took us in a bus and we went around to the different labs. The three labs were quite a distance apart. When the bus stopped at one place names were called and those people would get out. We didn't have a choice. My name was called for the group that was dropped at Coles Signal Lab, which was the communications lab. A personnel individual said, "Go see Mr. So-and-So." Eventually I ended up down in the Suppression and General Engineering branch, which was concerned with radio frequency interference. And that's how I got introduced to radio frequency interference (RFI.)

Nebeker:

It was quite a matter of fate.

Kesselman:

Right. Divine guidance or fate. So I spent the summer there. Then I went back to school, and then after graduation continued to work in that group.

Nebeker:

In looking back on your program at NCE, I take it that left a lot that you had to learn on your own afterwards.

Kesselman:

Right.

Nebeker:

Did you have a good experience at NCE?

Kesselman:

NCE was a fine educational experience. It was also a commuting experience (no dorms.)

Nebeker:

Were there any professors or teachers that were particularly important to you?

Kesselman:

I don't remember the names of anyone that really influenced me.

Signal Corps Engineering Labs employment

Nebeker:

How did it go when you started work in 1950? This was again in the signal lab?

Kesselman:

It was the Suppression and General Engineering branch. Everything was referred to as the Signal Corps Engineering Labs. That was the basic name. Then there were various divisions within that. When I said there were three labs, they were really three functions. The radar lab was down at the Evans area which is about 10 miles south of Fort Monmouth, and that's where the Army first got famous for bouncing radar off the Moon.

Nebeker:

Yes. I know of that.

Kesselman:

The Diana site.

Nebeker:

Right. Project Diana.

Kesselman:

Most recently it has been turned over to the Wall Township. They have had a lot of environmental problems getting it in shape. There used to be rumors around like, "Don't go in building so-and-so or you'll turn green." This was due to a number of experiments done there during World War II that I guess caused people to think there were a lot of radioactive things down there.

Nebeker:

What work did you do at the start?

Kesselman:

The group that I was assigned to within that Suppression and General Engineering branch was the development team or section. They were responsible for the research and development of interference reduction technology, measurements techniques and instrumentation.

Nebeker:

Was it a particular area or a particular type of interference in which they were concerned?

Kesselman:

Just anything in which the Signal Corps was interested.

Nebeker:

A wide range of things, communication systems that the Army was using.

Kesselman:

The whole business. The Signal Corps had an Army regulation that said these were the things that would be done in the development of Army systems that was considered radio frequency interference.

Nebeker:

I see. It was specified that such a system could not be emitting certain interferences?

Kesselman:

Yes, there was the attempt to say that the Army needed to deal with radio frequency interference. If you go back to when the Army first became interested in radio frequency interference, some people would say it was the first time that they put a radio on a vehicle. Prior to World War II most of the interference concern was the interference that came from vehicle ignition systems on the radios that were onboard. The initial efforts were totally concentrated on reducing the interference from motor vehicles or anything that had an internal combustion engine in it and used sparkplugs. World War II kind of expanded that when they started putting a lot of electronics and radar, et cetera in there and had a common battlefield. That is why the Army closed down what were the Signal Corps labs in Detroit, Michigan right after the war. During World War II concentration of the Signal Corps engineering function from an RFI standpoint was in Detroit. They evaluated all of the tanks, trucks and et cetera coming off the production line and did the suppression that was necessary at that time. Then after the war that lab was closed down and consolidated with the labs in Fort Monmouth.

Nebeker:

They were in Detroit because that was where the vehicles were being manufactured?

Kesselman:

Right. One of my supervisors had been there in Detroit. His job at that time was testing tanks as they came off the production line to see that they were not producing excessive RFI.

Nebeker:

Are you saying that they did it on an as-needed basis, for instance if for some reason the engine in a tank was interfering badly?

Kesselman:

If it was not suppressed properly to meet Signal Corps RFI specifications.

Development of suppression systems

Kesselman:

Suppression systems developed over a long period of time. The first time I became personally knowledgeable of RFI was when I tried to put a radio in my first car, a 1937 Dodge. What you heard was the sparkplug noise. Then I learned there were sparkplug suppressors.

Nebeker:

I see. So in those days when you put an aftermarket radio into your car you had to do some more work.

Kesselman:

Right. Back in those days cars had an engine, a steering wheel and four wheels.

Nebeker:

I know it was in the course of the 1930s that car radios became common, but when did it become standard practice that all the engines coming out of Detroit had the suppression in them? Do you know?

Kesselman:

I can't be specific about that. The automotive industry has had efforts going on for a long time in suppressing vehicles. The Society of Automotive Engineers had a specific group directed at radio frequency interference. But again, way back it was more or less just the sparkplugs and maybe electric motors.

Nebeker:

You had electric motors elsewhere in the car?

Kesselman:

Running the windshield wipers and things. But then when they started putting in all the electronics – the fuel injection, computers and et cetera, it just exploded out into the technology world.

Nebeker:

Surely that was happening with Army vehicles and in the Army generally after World War II with all the incoming electronics in different ways.

Kesselman:

Yes. I would say up until World War II the concern was mostly the interference coming from internal combustion engines, whether they were connected to a generator for electrical power in the field or on a vehicle. The Army had many different specifications on vehicles, railway, rolling stock, boats and electric hand tools. There were a wide variety of specifications.

Nebeker:

Were there problems with the land communications stations in the Army, maybe if they were using an electric generator?

Kesselman:

Yes, that was part of it. An electric engine generator powering a communications site had to be suppressed so it would not interfere. Then it grew into the interaction between radar, radios, computers and other communications gear when you put them into one shelter.

Nebeker:

Yes. Or when radar is put together with communications.

Kesselman:

Right. It became an interaction with all electronic devices. All the electronic technology has grown and given us all of these great things, including garage door openers. We had problems with garage door openers originally. An airplane flying overhead and radioing for landing instructions or something would trigger garage doors, making them go up and down. Prior to World War II most of the interference was from vehicles to electronic equipment. World War II brought in a whole new set of problems. Right after World War II was when the Army and the other military services started concentrating on the interference in general – the interaction, compatibility between equipment to equipment and equipment to its electromagnetic environment. It brought in a whole realm of spectrum management and frequency allocations.

Field strength measurement systems

Nebeker:

In the résumé you gave me you indicated that in this period – although it extends all the way up to 1958 – that you were developing field strength measurement systems. Do you want to explain that a little bit?

Kesselman:

During or just prior to World War II the RFI measurement equipment was made by modifying military radios, adding a metering function and a control box. Interference control limits were then specified relative to the capability of the test equipment. The RFI limits were based on whether the communication system would work. In other words if I am communicating on a radio that is on a vehicle, can I hear the signal that I want to hear when the engine is running? There was a sort of a subjective limit put on, but then having established that, after putting proper suppression on a vehicle someone needed to take a measurement to determine specification compliance. When I became involved in the fifties there was an expansion of this, going into the design of instrumentation specifically for measuring the energy in the whole spectrum. During World War II the upper range on communications was probably about 30 MHz. The instrumentation they had at that time went up to that end of the frequency range. Then as communications began to expand into microwave energy and et cetera I developed some instrumentation to go beyond that.

Nebeker:

Your main job was extending the range of these instruments?

Kesselman:

Right. When I came to Fort Monmouth they were engaged in developing an instrumentation system that was specifically tailored to measuring radio frequency energy. The concept we worked with at that time was to develop a basic measurement unit and then put in tuning heads so that as the frequency range of interest came along we could plug in another tuning unit. The first one on which I worked extended the range up to 400 MHz I think, and after that we went up to 1000 MHz. Then we switched to another measurement system that would go up to the higher gigahertz ranges. It was continual thing. It was more than just extending the range of measurements; it was a measurement system. It was basically a radio that had to have the proper metering circuits in it, broadband & tuned antennae and electric & magnetic field probes

Nebeker:

Did it have a recording capability?

Kesselman:

Not initially. Eventually they became more automated. The whole thing had to be tied together as a system.

Nebeker:

Was this meant to be portable?

Kesselman:

Transportable. It was in several boxes.

Nebeker:

How large, roughly?

Kesselman:

The whole package probably fit into a box about 2 feet by 3 feet by some 18 inches high. That was the main unit and the antennas, et cetera. Then there were individual transport boxes containing plug-in heads. There were four plug-in heads that came with this particular unit I am remembering. At that time they had to all be gold-plated, so to speak due to the environmental concerns, the vibration and et cetera.

Industrial and military roles in the development of instrumentation, 1960s

Nebeker:

Was the Army leading the way in this kind of instrumentation?

Kesselman:

The Army probably thinks it was leading.

Nebeker:

Were you in contact with other groups doing the same thing at the same time?

Kesselman:

Yes. The Navy was also developing instrumentation. There was cooperation between people in the military R&D community. Things became more focused between those services in the sixties when the Department of Defense issued a directive. At that time all of the R&D activities of the three services met with the Secretary of Defense for R&D once a year and defended their programs. This became a coordinated thing in order to ensure that efforts were not being duplicated between services. That was also when the Department of Defense Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center (ECAC) was created. Their main focus was on analysis of joint operations between the three services. Each service had its own analysis capabilities for whatever particular requirements existed in that service. The Navy was of course interested everything onboard ship working properly, the Army was interested in the whole battlefield electronics and the Air Force at that time just regarding aircraft. In this way there were several different forms of interest. Eventually it grew from the point of looking at one piece of equipment versus another piece of equipment to looking at a whole land, air & sea battlefield communication/electronics system.

Nebeker:

I'm wondering about the commercial world. Wasn't there a need for such instrumentation in industry?

Kesselman:

Industry pretty much adopted whatever the military was doing.

Nebeker:

Oh, is that right?

Kesselman:

Initially. The standardization of instrumentation in that community was more or less forced by the fact that the three services had different requirements but had similar specifications that varied slightly from one another. In commercial industry in the sixties things were transitioning from military in-house to outside contractor support. It became too big a problem for the services to continue doing business the way they had been. I think it was in 1965 or 1966 that the Secretary of Defense for R&D that was administering the compatibility program directed the three services to get together and come up with one common standard. This way if the Navy was buying something they would be using the same measurement standards used by the Army and Air Force. And as a result of that direction representatives from the three services as well as industry people met at a Navy installation that was associated with the Patuxent River Naval Station in Maryland. We were all put in a room and told, "You're not coming out until you have a standard." Some people might say, "I created the standards," but it was a team effort that came out with the first set of common standards, the military standard 460 series, which was 461, 462, 463 and supposedly up to 465. The 461 standard defined the limits, the 462 standard was for how those limits were to be measured and defined, and 463 was a definitions document. The 465 was to be a systems integration document. However it took many years for that to come about and I don't believe it is still called by that name. Anyway, each service was assigned responsibility for a specific document. The Navy was assigned the overall responsibility of coordinating all the standards. That satisfied the need at the time, coming up with one set of standards.

Nebeker:

Did you say that was in the sixties?

Kesselman:

I think these standards were issued in 1967.

Nebeker:

There were a couple of things about the fifties that I wanted to ask you about before we get too far along chronologically. You did graduate study at Rutgers.

Kesselman:

There was an extension of Rutgers that was held here at Fort Monmouth with general electrical engineering and a master's degree, but I did not complete that.

The first electromagnetic hazards meter

Nebeker:

You worked on the first EM hazards meter. Would you tell me a little about that?

Kesselman:

Yes. In the fifties people started to become aware of the fact that electromagnetic radiations could be a health hazard and the Army Surgeon General requested the labs here to come up with a metering system to measure the hazardous areas. For example back then we still had the Nike missile sites around, and they were located in civilian areas. The Surgeon General was charged with putting up the criteria for an operation to prevent hazards. Prior to that time we had no instrumentation to measure the levels of hazard.

Nebeker:

Were people concerned about radio frequency or microwave frequencies?

Kesselman:

Yes.

Nebeker:

Okay. All.

Kesselman:

In the military the power level was 10 milliwatts per cm2. That was considered to be the safe level to which a reasonably healthy person could be exposed without causing biological damage.

Nebeker:

10 milliwats per cm2.

Kesselman:

Yes. The problem was that a field intensity meter was needed so that hazard levels could be measured around a site like Nike. The main concern was with the high-powered radar transmitters. We came up with a quick solution by putting things together and saying to the Surgeon General, "Okay, this will measure the levels," and then he had the job of overseeing the evaluation of all the Nike sites. What was being done at that time was essentially putting a fence around it, because the power level falls off rather rapidly – plus there is the directivity of the antennas, et cetera. So it was a matter of roping off certain areas.

Nebeker:

Was that the first time that had been done for military installations as far as you know?

Kesselman:

To my knowledge, yes.

Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation Ordinance (HERO) program

Kesselman:

That hazard aspect then spilled over into the Hazard to Ordinance and fuels. So then there was the HERO program, Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation Ordinance. One of the things to which I got involved with in the fifties was that a rocket took off onboard a Navy Carrier while a person was loading it underneath the wing of a plane. The rocket operation was such that there was an electroexplosive device the pilot would trigger which launched the rocket. Well, there were high-power transmitters onboard the carrier.

Nebeker:

High-power transmitters that could trigger the rocket?

Kesselman:

It could under specific conditions, but it only happened when this one technician did it.

Nebeker:

So you had to figure that out.

Kesselman:

Yes. I went to a place at the China Lake Navy installation out in California. We were sent out there to see what we could put together. We did not figure out why it occurred only when the individual technician placed the rocket on the wing, but it did surface a new electromagnetic compatibility problem. The immediate fix was to shut down HF transmitters while aircraft were on the flight deck.

Spectrum signatures

Nebeker:

To finish up with the fifties, would you tell me a little bit about the work you did on spectrum signatures?

Kesselman:

In order to analyze a whole electromagnetic environment, the characteristics of the devices being used needed to be known. At that time the concern was to define the spectrum signatures of devices, pieces of equipment used, and use that in the analysis program looking at a whole Army environment of electronics.

Nebeker:

This was a way of specifying what—?

Kesselman:

It was not specifying but defining, saying, "This is what it is, and these are the characteristics of equipment A, these are the characteristics of equipment B, and C, and D, and et cetera."

Nebeker:

Was this a protocol for describing?

Kesselman:

Describing and measuring the unintentional.

Nebeker:

Measuring what was coming out from specific equipment.

Kesselman:

Right. The unintentional. The unintentional characteristics of a set were the out of band emissions and maybe the susceptibility.

Nebeker:

Also susceptibility.

Kesselman:

We had to look at everything. And we had to look at what was already in the environment – TV stations, radio stations, et cetera. All of these considerations were put together in the analysis program in order to come up with a frequency assignment scheme that would permit the maximum compatibility of the whole communications/electronics system.

Nebeker:

I see.

Kesselman:

The standard 449 was to define the characteristics of any items the services were procuring.

Nebeker:

The MIL STD 449.

Kesselman:

Yes. That put an extreme testing burden on whoever was manufacturing things. While in theory it was a good thing, it never really got off the ground. However we did put together protocol for how to measure communication systems, how you measure radar systems and et cetera for the unintentional radiation or susceptibility characteristics. Then all was fed into a computer program that supposedly would come up with a compatible operational scheme. ECAC would then analyze Army, Navy and Air Force in a joint operation. The Army had its analysis center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. It started at Fort Monmouth, but in the sixties the Fort Monmouth laboratories were diversified in the sense that the testing function went to the testing and evaluation command in Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the analysis and other things went to Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and some things stayed here at Fort Monmouth. It put a testing burden on anyone involved.

Nebeker:

Are you saying that it did not get implemented?

Kesselman:

It was implemented, but people were dragging their feet.

Nebeker:

And this was because it was difficult to carry out these measurements?

Kesselman:

It was time-consuming and expensive as the economy shifted into looking at saving money. Testing was a very expensive endeavor as far as EMC goes. Going back to the early fifties the Signal Corps had its own testing group at Fort Monmouth. We had traveling laboratories that went on the road constantly. They went to different manufacturers' plants and tested for compliance with standards for anything the Signal Corps was purchasing.

Nebeker:

So there the Army took on the burden of testing.

Kesselman:

Right. But when that got beyond the realm of economics and the military budgets were coming down things got reorganized. The Signal Corps was no longer the main element. It became an Army material command that looked at everything the Army was buying.

Nebeker:

And I suppose it made sense to have specifications and put the burden on the manufacturers. Was that the idea?

Kesselman:

No, that particular document did not put any burden on anyone as far as the characteristics of the equipment. It just mandated that the equipment be defined. Then we would feed that information into massive computer programs.

Nebeker:

Was there an effort to put the burden on the manufacturers for this electromagnetic compatibility over time?

Kesselman:

Yes, it was always there in the specifications to buy a particular piece of equipment. That didn't change the fact that we were looking at the whole spectrum of what the equipment did. It was a kind of mix of things.

Nebeker:

Yes.

Kesselman:

If you look at the Army in the fifties, the Army was doing the testing onsite of the service development models. We put on the necessary suppression and et cetera. That job got too big for Fort Monmouth's capabilities and I guess it was in the early sixties that this function was transferred to the Army's Aberdeen test command. When the Army's Testing Evaluation Command was created that function was shifted over to them. I can't remember just when, but it probably transitioned in the early or mid-sixties. The testing for compliance with the standards was part of the contractual effort and the manufacturer had to perform it. Then the Test Evaluation Command reviewed it, or they would do some special tests, but the problem of testing grew beyond the control of one organization.

Supervisor electronics engineer position; automated radio interference instruments

Nebeker:

Returning to your own career, I see that in 1958 you became a supervisor electronics engineer of CECOM [pronounced see-com], Communications Electronics Command.

Kesselman:

That's what the title is today. It probably was something different at that time. At that time it probably was still the Signal Corps Engineering Lab. The Signal Corps Engineering Lab became the U.S. Army Signal Research and Development Labs, then it became the Electronics Command and then the latest was Communications Electronics Command (CECOM). CECOM was headquartered at Fort Monmouth and included the purchase and development of everything in which the Army dealt. The EMC R&D effort was still a relatively small group. It dwindled down. It was concerned with the continuing research and development of components interference reduction techniques, the modeling and et cetera to provide guidance to equipment/system Project Managers.

Nebeker:

You mentioned the development of automated radio interference instruments.

Kesselman:

Yes. We initiated procurement. At that point we were looking for outside developers to work on the projects. We had an effort to expand the frequency range above a giga hertz and to automate it, and that led to our supporting the development of YIG tuning devices. YIG was Yitrium, iron and Garnet. We tried to adopt the various technologies that were coming into play in order to expand or modernize our instrumentation and processes.

Nebeker:

Before this automation stage was there a technician who was running through frequencies and hand recording?

Kesselman:

The whole frequency range would be cranked through.

Nebeker:

And this was done by handwriting the power levels?

Kesselman:

This involved listening until some interference was detected. Then it would have to be ascertained whether it was interference or something intentional and the level would be measured and recorded, cranking through from 150 KHz to 1,000 MHz.

Nebeker:

The idea was to automate that process?

Kesselman:

Yes. In one device we were going up in frequency and at the same time tried to apply new technology in order to achieve a swept frequency front end. There were spectrum analyzers that could look at the whole spectrum, but the spectrum analyzers at that time did not have sufficient front-end isolation. Therefore it was difficult to differentiate whether it was fault of the spectrum analyzer or whether something else was actually being measured. For example it could have been a spurious response in the spectrum analyzer. In a sense a tunable front-end was being put on a spectrum analyzer. That's a simplified way of looking at it. The first device on which we tried this was at the higher frequencies, expanding the frequency range and marrying it together. A contract was awarded to Watkins Johnson, and they produced a device that met the requirements, but a technician was needed to keep it going.

Nebeker:

It was automatic but needed a technician.

Kesselman:

It was mobile. We had it in a big Army shelter on a truck body. We never had that produced. But industry, based on some of these efforts that we initiated by contract, picked up on it and went off on their own.

Military and commercial demands for instrumentation

Nebeker:

Was there enough of a market for this instrumentation that industry was interested in developing it?

Kesselman:

Yes, there was a small market at least. Some of the instrumentation people in industry became interested and they produced commercial devices for sale. The Army's approach was never to specify a particular instrumentation. There were specifications for what had to be measured, and it had to be proven that the instrumentation did what it was supposed to do. That was the Army's approach. It became such a broad area that it is kind of hard to focus on anything too specific. But anyway, things did follow on from military initiatives, picked up by industry.

Nebeker:

Would it be fair to say that military demand drove this field?

Kesselman:

Military concerns drove it, but consumer electronics grew and grew and grew. It (EMC) transitioned from a military to a civilian emphasis.

Nebeker:

You are talking about the field in general?

Kesselman:

Right. One would have to look at almost every new innovation for which the civilian community found an application.

Nebeker:

Things like microwave ovens and CB radios?

Kesselman:

Microwave ovens, and even electric mixers, or electric shavers interfering with TV. Home entertainment electronics and other electrical devices in the home. If someone has a hi-fi set in an apartment and on the other side of the wall in the next apartment someone runs the vacuum cleaner for instance. Vacuum cleaner manufacturers would say, "Why do I have to suppress this?" There were so many aspects that it became a whole educational program. Any time there is a new technology there is a new EMC problem that has to be addressed.

Nebeker:

How was this done? Vacuum cleaner manufacturers could say, "Well, I don't care about this. Why should I invest anything in suppressing?"

Kesselman:

I kind of openly said that, but there were some simple fixes that could be implemented using feed-through capacitors or a filter or something.

Nebeker:

Are there relatively inexpensive things one can do with hand tools and such that drastically reduce the problem?

Kesselman:

From a commercial standpoint any time you put in another ten cents it is important.

Nebeker:

I am sure that is a fascinating story of all of the consumer electronics and/or electrical devices.

Kesselman:

Then there is the aircraft industry. Cell phones cannot be used when flying, et cetera because things would interfere with the navigation system. Cell phones cannot be used at hospitals because some electronic patient monitor could be affected.

EMC computer analysis program, 1960s-1970s

Nebeker:

I wanted to ask you about the development of the first EMC computer analysis program in the sixties or seventies.

Kesselman:

It started out as a special project at Fort Monmouth. It was known as Project Monmouth. A team of experts in all kinds of technologies – antennas, radio design, radar, et cetera – was put together with the task of coming up with a computer program to analyze a whole battlefield distribution of Army equipment. That project continued for a good number of years.

Nebeker:

Was this a descriptive analysis rather than deciding how to go about things?

Kesselman:

It was a computer program that mapped deployment of electronic equipment and the characteristics of the equipment, put it all together and said, "This is the best frequency assignment scheme achievable to make this thing work."

Nebeker:

I see.

Kesselman:

It also took into consideration the local civilian environment. If this Army equipment was placed in Germany for whatever reason – this was back in the days of the Cold War – the Army also had to abide by the country's laws on civilian uses. The Army could not just go in there and say, "I'm going to use this frequency."

Nebeker:

I had not thought about that. Army communications equipment maybe had to be changed for different geographic environments?

Kesselman:

Maybe the frequency allocation. The radio may operate from frequency A to frequency C, but possibly only specific frequencies could be used. I picked Germany just as a hypothetical example. This was to be a modeling program so that before an army was put in a location all of the environmental concerns for that area could be fed into the program in order to come up with the best operational frequency assignment possible for that particular set of circumstances.

Nebeker:

I see.

Kesselman:

It was a way of relating the total system to the electromagnetic environment. The propagation factors, over mountains, through the trees and what have you had to be considered. I did not do that myself, but I was part of that effort.

Nebeker:

It was a big effort.

Kesselman:

The results of that effort were eventually transferred to the Army's analysis capability that was expanded out at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. It was also a takeoff point for the analysis modeling that the Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center (ECAC) developed, some of the basic philosophies there.

Nebeker:

Taking a step back and looking at this, how important has this modeling capability been for frequency allocations and design of equipment and so on? Would you say it has been an indispensable tool?

Kesselman:

It was indispensable as far as the military was concerned.

Nebeker:

One could imagine these challenges being tackled by considering individual clashes or problems without a computer program.

Kesselman:

A simple paper analysis could be done for discreet situations. However from an Army standpoint one may be looking at a communications and electronics complex spread out through an Army that might be the size of New Jersey.

Nebeker:

I remember hearing that ships may have as many as twelve different communication systems. The Army probably has a lot of different communication systems also.

Kesselman:

Right. There is more confinement with the ships.

Nebeker:

I guess it is an acute problem in that case.

Kesselman:

And the Air Force has problems concerning what is on aircraft. The Army also has the concentration of communications in a tank. There may be nine different pieces of equipment on one tank. That has to not only be compatible with itself but also with the environment with which it is going to be associated. It's a tool. The big analysis programs are not run every day.

EMC Spectral Management Program

Nebeker:

Would you say a something about the Army's EMC Spectral Management Program? It says in your résumé that you assisted in the restructuring of that.

Kesselman:

The modeling thing came into play with that. That is referring to Project Monmouth.

Nebeker:

Right.

Kesselman:

When a signal officer was placed out somewhere in the field and he was setting up his communications, he had available to him a block of frequencies. He would look at what we call nosebleed charts that went with a piece of equipment. It identified where its susceptibilities were, et cetera. These were kind of like black dots joined on a matrix.

Nebeker:

These are certain frequencies to avoid?

Kesselman:

Yes. That was simple enough on a small basis. We got into the modeling program for when it had to be done for a whole division or the Army itself.

Nebeker:

I'm curious. I know that large parts of the spectrum are set aside for military use. Does that often change how they are using parts of the spectrum?

Kesselman:

The spectrum is divided into various categories – broadcast, TV, et cetera.

Nebeker:

I have seen on charts that the military has big sections.

Kesselman:

Yes, the military has big sections. That comes sort of historically. In earlier days people were not interested in those things, so the military could take this big frequency range. The military led in the development of things in that frequency range. I have not kept up with this, but there is a constant battle over frequency spectrum nowadays.

Nebeker:

Right.

Kesselman:

People are bidding for satellite frequencies, et cetera.

Nebeker:

In the period of your involvement in all this did the military change the frequencies it used often? Was the military looking at, "Well, maybe we could use that bandwidth there for different systems"?

Kesselman:

The military receives its chunk of the spectrum and cannot necessarily go asking for other chunks. I think right now the military is probably trying to defend keeping what it has.

Nebeker:

Right. Was the military using a large part of what had been assigned to it in the sixties, seventies and eighties? Maybe that's a better question.

Kesselman:

It was in those bands where it did all of its development work. When you say using it, I would say it probably was to some degree using all of what was allocated to it – at least developing things to operate in those bands.

Nebeker:

That's an interesting point you made that because the military had certain bandwidths the equipment for those frequencies was developed for military use.

Kesselman:

The frequency spectrum was divided up into the various usages. There was a Marine communications, safety, aircraft and so on. There is an international conference in which I never participated, a world something or other spectrum allocation committee that divides up the whole spectrum worldwide. They meet periodically and relook at the spectrum allocations. I guess in the U.S. the FCC is the biggest participant in that.

Nebeker:

How about cooperation among Air Force, Navy, Army for the part set aside for military use? Are there battles over frequencies?

Kesselman:

I don't think there is really a battle. It depends on their technology. There is a band set aside for satellites, another for air-ground communications, and so on.

Nebeker:

So that was not a contentious issue between the services?

Kesselman:

Not to my knowledge.

Leadership in the Communications Society (COMSEC) Division

Nebeker:

You were chief of communications of the COMSEC Division? Am I reading that right?

Kesselman:

I was the chief of the Communications Security (COMSEC) Division. That was sort of an outgrowth of reorganization. There were several years prior to my having that position that led up to that.

Nebeker:

You were chief of COMSEC from 1981-84 according to your résumé.

Kesselman:

Somewhere in the late seventies there were considerable cutbacks in personnel and a lot of reorganization in general. Because of the diversification of the mission from Fort Monmouth to other Army posts, giving it less responsibility, the EMC group personnel staff was cut way down. After reorganization there were only about fifteen of us left in EMC functions. For administrative purposes, because there was an association, we were put under the control of the COMSEC division. COMSEC had Tempest, which is a classified part of EMC in a sense.

Nebeker:

Can you explain that a little bit?

Kesselman:

I would rather not.

Nebeker:

Okay.

Kesselman:

There was commonality between EMC and Tempest concerns. Tempest is just a word.

Nebeker:

Does Tempest have to do with secure communications?

Kesselman:

Yes. The Tempest program is similar in some respects to measuring electromagnetic radiation, so there is a commonality there. Some commercial laboratories had Tempest and EMI groups combined. Anyway, because of the organizational structure the EMC group became part of the COMSEC division.

Nebeker:

Here at Fort Monmouth?

Kesselman:

Here at Monmouth. At that point I headed the EMC team. When the division chief retired I put in my paperwork like everyone else, and I was selected to be his successor in that position. That threw me into the communication security business.

Communication security

Nebeker:

It seems like that is a different business. You say there is a technical similarity.

Kesselman:

No. There is a technical similarity in the Tempest part, but communication security was the marrying of encryption devices to the Army communication system.

Nebeker:

You suddenly found yourself doing that.

Kesselman:

I am still over the EMC function.

Nebeker:

Right. That is within this, but this is a much larger group. Right?

Kesselman:

Yes. At that time the COMSEC division was about fifty people and the EMC group was about ten or twelve.

Nebeker:

I see.

Kesselman:

So I expanded my horizons.

Nebeker:

How was that experience for you?

Kesselman:

It was interesting. It is dealing in a whole different world. Then I became the deputy of the laboratory.

Nebeker:

The Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate?

Kesselman:

That was the final name.

Nebeker:

It had several names over time?

Kesselman:

Yes. Thirty years ago it was Communications Lab and then things changed and that became part of the bigger organization, which included satellite communications.

Nebeker:

That's the space part of it. The Space and Terrestrial Communications?

Kesselman:

Yes. There was a satellite communications function here at Fort Monmouth, and then with reorganizations things got combined. There were a number of restructurings at Fort Monmouth in the Communications Electronics Command. This was forced by the direction to reduce staff due to funding cutbacks, et cetera.

Nebeker:

Did you ever consider working elsewhere, for example when much of the EMC work moved out to Arizona?

Kesselman:

No.

Nebeker:

You wanted to stay here?

Kesselman:

I was happy here. I had an offer to be the Civilian Army Deputy Director at the Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center (ECAC.) It was a Department of Defense (DOD) organization, and it had Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine deputy directors. The deputy directors were military, but they had a civilian in there also.

Nebeker:

I see.

Kesselman:

I considered it.

Nebeker:

Where would that have been?

Kesselman:

That would have been in Annapolis, Maryland. I got sort of locked in here. I was happy with things and had no reason to want to seek relocation.

Management position in communications R&D

Nebeker:

It was in 1984 that you became deputy director of this group that became the Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate. What were you dealing with there? What were the big issues?

Kesselman:

It was strictly a management function over the whole communications R&D program.

Nebeker:

Management of all sorts?

Kesselman:

That directorate had responsibility for the development of individual communications equipment but also provided support to various project managers. There was a military head, but through time programs became project managed by groups dedicated to a certain system development. This directorate provided technical support to the project managers. One example is the Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE). The MSE is the forerunner to cellular communications. This put out a whole mobile communication center system out on the battlefield. I think the first really practical use of that was in Desert Storm. The theory was that this mobile subscriber equipment, cellular phone system, was what the Army needed to keep up with the mobility of the forces. At one point in Desert Storm I think the movement of the troops got ahead of its capability.

Nebeker:

Even in World War II there were all sorts of mobile communications. Is the difference here that it was a single coordinated system for all Army communications?

Kesselman:

It was the main communication system. The Army always had mobile communication systems, but when the forces moved from one place to another the signal officers had to reestablish their communication centers. This mobile subscriber equipment system was intended to bring everything up to speed. For comparison, take a cellular system where there are antennas every 50 miles or less. There are dead spots. The main switching center was like a cellular tower and it kept being moved along to keep up with the forces. That may be a bad comparison. The speed of the battle required the capability to move faster while being in continuous communication – at least at the command level.

Nebeker:

This is the main command communication system for the overall Army operation in a region.

Kesselman:

Comparing it to a telephone system, it was a long distance communication system. However there are no fixed communication sites. Those keep being moved.

Nebeker:

Right. Was that a project that was overseen by this directorate?

Kesselman:

No. There was a project manager for that. We just provided the technical assistance in all aspects to the project manager.

Nebeker:

I see. You were providing technical assistance to the project manager.

Kesselman:

To the project manager. Right.

Nebeker:

I see.

Kesselman:

Through the years most of these major systems had a project manager assigned to them. I guess it is a whole transition of the philosophy of running R&D, if you want to look at that. Way back it was kind of simple, but then as more equipment became involved and there were specific objectives for a system it was put under the control of one manager. In the Army the manager reported to headquarters in Washington. His funding was based on review at that level, but through time here it developed that his continuing budget impinged on having a successful EMC control plan. That came into play as things grew. In time, all procurements for pieces of equipment or systems had the requirement upfront that the contractor would provide an interference control plan.

Nebeker:

Whereas decades before one just built the system without worrying about an interference control plan.

Kesselman:

Yes. "Why do you want to bother me?" If you needed to communicate from A to B, that was all you worried about in the early systems. Then the EMI, EMC and RFI came along and said, "Hey wait a minute. These are things that you need to do." In bygone days equipment developers did not worry about that until after the fact. The whole philosophy that grew through the years here was to have built-in design rather than costly retrofits.

Nebeker:

I see. So the communications engineers, the designers of these systems, would presumably think about this from the beginning.

Kesselman:

Yes, right. This had to be considered in the very beginning.

Nebeker:

That must be part of the story of the growth of this field, that because we are surrounded by electronics these days interference control has become a part of the design of equipment.

Kesselman:

Yes. The expanded use of electronics, communications and whatever else.

Nebeker:

How were the years 1984-93 when you were deputy director of this group?

Kesselman:

That was strictly a management function, but I still had an influence over the EMC.

Nebeker:

Were you still personally involved with the EMC group's work?

Kesselman:

Not on a day-to-day basis. I kept interest in the field in general but was not actively participating in the EMC world so to speak.

Nebeker:

I'm curious about how moving into management worked for you. Was that an acceptable thing for you? Did you like that? Did you regret getting away from the engineering at times?

Kesselman:

I sort of grew into management through the COMSEC division, being the team leader of the EMC group, then the division chief and then the Laboratory deputy director. I swung over from on-the-bench engineering to management gradually, so I was happy with it.

Electromagnetic Compatibility Society and IRE

Nebeker:

Maybe this is a good point to ask about your involvement with the Electromagnetic Compatibility Society. I know you have a list here somewhere of all these different offices, including president, that you've served with that society.

Kesselman:

I guess we have to go back to how it got formed. In the fifties the military started a series of conferences. Fort Monmouth, our group here, was assigned responsibility for getting these symposiums put together. We hired the Armour Research Foundation to conduct these annual symposia, and we funded it – "we" being the military services.

Nebeker:

What was the title of these symposia?

Kesselman:

Tri-Service Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposiums, or words to that effect, but they kind of became known as the Armour Symposiums because Armour Research Foundation was running them. Most people would refer to them as the Armour Symposiums. This brought an opportunity for the military people to compare technology but also the civilian community could come in. Back then most of them were classified, or they had classified sessions anyway.

Nebeker:

Were these symposia open to anyone with the exception of the classified sessions?

Kesselman:

Yes, they were open. People could get could get clearance. There were no exhibitors and no registration fee and they were held in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry. They ran for about ten years. I don't remember the dates of start and finish. But this started to bring a lot of people together. The purpose was to educate – not only the military transfer of information, but to get the civilian community involved and to get a general indication of where things should be going in the EMC world.

Nebeker:

Were the military researchers publishing papers in the fifties and sixties?

Kesselman:

There were papers in those symposiums, yes. A large percentage of the papers were coming from contractors who were servicing the military organizations. The Army had some work being done by Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Armour Research Foundation and a lot of their work was documented and presented at these symposiums. And the Navy had their people and the Air Force had theirs and the Army had theirs.

Nebeker:

Was it not standard practice for the Army and Navy people to be publishing papers with the IRE or any other organization before these symposia?

Kesselman:

It was not a requirement. Individuals may have done that.

Nebeker:

It was done to some extent?

Kesselman:

Yes, but publishing papers to survive was not a requirement. Individuals could elect to do it. Of course they had to have everything cleared through public relations.

Nebeker:

Were these symposia something of a turning point in that there was more exchange of information than before?

Kesselman:

That is how it was focused. The three services were going to do this. Somewhere along the line this got people together, the military and the civilians. As to who was initially responsible for the forming of the group, it depends on to whom you talk. I like to think there were several people that were key to starting this idea of forming a society. A couple of them were coworkers of mine at Fort Monmouth and there were some people from the west coast and some people from the Washington area as well. They said, "Let's do this." There were a number of us that signed the petition to create the Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference of the IRE.

Nebeker:

Right.

Kesselman:

That group was formed in October of 1957. I guess the Tri-Service Symposium function still continued for a year or two, and then at some point the military said, "We can't fund this anymore, so IRE better take it over." The whole series of the symposiums of the Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference.

Nebeker:

Did they essentially extend that Armour Foundation?

Kesselman:

They didn't extend it, but they took on the function of a yearly symposium. The first one I recall after the group was formed was a session at the IRE general symposium in New York.

Nebeker:

The big annual meeting?

Kesselman:

Yes, the big annual IRE meeting. Then individual chapters were formed that supported a local symposium and et cetera. That's kind of how it grew, and every year since that first one there's been an EMC Society symposium.

Nebeker:

And along with that Transactions in the electromagnetic compatibility.

Kesselman:

Well, Transactions are there whether there is a symposium or not.

Nebeker:

Right. What I meant is, that's another of these professional functions of a professional group.

Kesselman:

Right. TheTransactions, and then of course there is a newsletter which the society recently has expanded. It includes technical articles and there is the annual symposium record. These are ways of getting out exchange of information. Within the society itself there are ten technical committees. Each is focused on a different aspect of this whole EMC world.

Nebeker:

I take it you were involved in the Armour symposiums.

Kesselman:

Right.

Nebeker:

From the beginning or close to the beginning?

Kesselman:

I became involved somewhere around the third or the fourth symposium..

Nebeker:

Were you in on the establishment of the IRE Professional Group?

Kesselman:

I was one of the founders, but there were three hundred and some-odd people that signed up on the petition. Somewhere along the line I became one of the technical people on the Transactions review as a technical papers reviewer. I don't recall all of these nitty-gritty details. I think Dr. Showers was one of the Transactions editors sometime early in the game, and I became a technical papers reviewer under him. I did not become heavily involved in the group until about the sixties. I participated in the IEEE/EMC world basically in the local chapter. We formed a local chapter sometime in the sixties. I had been active in the IEEE Section in various functions.

Nebeker:

There were enough people here interested in the EMC that you had a chapter.

Kesselman:

Yes. There was a group out of Bell Labs and another out of Honeywell. Honeywell had an elaborate testing laboratory in the area. Between Fort Monmouth, Bell Labs and Honeywell we had a group of about I guess maybe fifty in that chapter.

Nebeker:

That must have been one of the largest chapters of EMC.

Kesselman:

It may have been at the time. It has since dwindled to practically nothing. That group had the annual Society Symposium in 1969 at Asbury Park. We ran a separate classified session out at Fort Monmouth. IEEE won't support any classified effort.

Nebeker:

In conjunction.

Kesselman:

In conjunction we conducted a classified session with separate proceedings and everything at Fort Monmouth.

Nebeker:

Has that continued?

Kesselman:

No, that was the only one – mainly because we were here.

Nebeker:

Yes. There were enough of you.

Kesselman:

I have forgotten exactly when I became a member of the board. And then I became treasurer. Then I wasn't active for a period because of these new jobs. Then I got back in and somehow they twisted my arm and I became president of the society.

Nebeker:

That would be 1994-95.

Kesselman:

And then I became treasurer again, which is what I am right now.

Nebeker:

You are still treasurer.

Kesselman:

I am still treasurer.

Nebeker:

For you in your work, this professional group and then society was important for the annual meeting for the publications. How often did the chapter meet?

Kesselman:

Our chapter met about once a month.

Nebeker:

Is that right?

Kesselman:

Initially. We had invited speakers from the various government agencies.

Nebeker:

Where would you meet? At Fort Monmouth?

Kesselman:

No. We usually met in a local restaurant for lunch. I may be wrong about meeting once a month; it may have been every couple of months. It was a very active group for a number of years.

Nebeker:

Until the size of the group in Fort Monmouth dwindled.

Kesselman:

Disappeared. There was no connection between the group and Fort Monmouth in any way – other than that a few of us were there.

Nebeker:

There were just a few of you in the society from Fort Monmouth?

Kesselman:

There may have been a dozen of us. Honeywell had a big chunk of people there.

Presidential term, EMC Society

Nebeker:

How was your year as president? How did it go?

Kesselman:

Of the society? I was president for two years. Or was it one year?

Nebeker:

I just have here '94-'95. I don't know.

Kesselman:

Okay. We switched over. Now presidents have a two-year term. I served two one-year terms.

Nebeker:

Were there any crises?

Kesselman:

Oh yes. There was always a crisis about something. Some member didn't get what he thought he should have or something. It was a public relations kind of thing.

Nebeker:

Has the society gotten involved in any contentious issues such as the hazards of electromagnetic radiation?

Kesselman:

The society never really addressed itself to the hazards world. As far as hazards to personnel, CoMAR (Committee on Man and Radiation) of IEEE was the focal point for that.

Nebeker:

Right.

Kesselman:

We've had some people who were members on that committee. I guess that's now under the biomedical group.

Nebeker:

Maybe it's the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Kesselman:

Right. No, the society may have had some involvement in the early days, but it was sort of a tangent. We did not take that on as the scope of our work. We did not deal with hazards effects.

Nebeker:

Okay. Were there any other things that maybe were contentious or got into the public notice that the society has been involved with over the years? Have people got upset about some kind of interference? I'm just wondering.

Kesselman:

During my year as president I did get involved with a woman from New York who was concerned when word came out about people living near high-power tension lines were going to be effected. Again, that was not something with which the society dealt.

Nebeker:

Right.

Kesselman:

She apparently got to me. I'm not sure how. She wanted to know whether or not this was going to affect people. I spent quite a bit of time trying to explain that I did not think it was a problem and that there seemed to be no evidence, but that I was not in a position to really say – or our society is not. What was your last question?

Nebeker:

Whether the society had gotten involved in any contentious or issues that have gotten into the popular media.

Kesselman:

No, not really.

Nebeker:

Maybe that is a credit to the whole field, that people are not so upset about their garage doors getting triggered or that their TV reception is being completely messed up, or other such things one could imagine might bother people.

EMC and the Breathalyzer

Kesselman:

A lot of that in this country would be related to the FCC. One thing in which I did become involved, as an individual, was the breathalyzer. During that period when I was in the COMSEC division my wife got a call from the State Police wanting to locate me. That sort of frightened her. It was actually the Attorney General of New Jersey.

Nebeker:

Who was that?

Kesselman:

The New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Attorney General's Office. They came to me as an individual because they got my name through IEEE. There was a lawyer in New Jersey who was defending drunk drivers by saying that the State was applying a faulty breathalyzer test. This developed into litigation against the Attorney General and the State Police for applying improper instrumentation. The Attorney General's representative and the EMC folks from the State Police came to visit me and told me what they wanted to do. I said, "Well, you've got an EMC guy, right?" They said yeah, but they needed an independent person that was outside.

Nebeker:

How is EMC involved?

Kesselman:

This attorney would go to the local magistrate in defense of people who had been cited for drunk driving. He purchased a breathalyzer and he had an FM portable transmitter. He would hold the breathalyzer, trigger the transmitter and the needle would go crazy. Then the judge would dismiss the case. I understand he was charging a thousand dollars a pop.

Nebeker:

Nice business he had there.

Kesselman:

That's hearsay. But anyway, on the behalf of a number of people, he was suing to overthrow a lot of convictions. It really became a trial of the instrumentation. The Attorney General's Office came to me for help in defending this from an EMC standpoint. They showed me the instrument. I had never seen a breathalyzer before. And I just looked and it and said, "Yeah, so it's susceptible. What do you want me to do?"

Nebeker:

Any electronic device is susceptible.

Kesselman:

This had wires that were kind of haphazardly constructed. The breathalyzer people didn't know EMC.

Nebeker:

So it was particularly vulnerable to some transmissions.

Kesselman:

Yes, it could be. I said, "Yes, it's vulnerable. It's susceptible. I can't help you." And they said, "Well, that's why we want you to help us." We developed a whole analysis of where the breathalyzer is used, where the transmitters are located, they took field strength measurements, and analyzed the way the State used the breathalyzer. And there were other things involved, such as the chemical analysis. But anyway, to get to the day in court, it was time to get me defined as an expert witness, so I spent a couple days with this attorney questioning me. Eventually the court accepted me as an expert witness. It happened that this was late in the day. The deputy attorney general was questioning me on the stand, and she asked me, "Is this particular breathalyzer susceptible to RF energy?" I said, "Yes." Then the judge closed the court for the day, recessing until the next day. The Newark Star Ledger had headlines, "State's Expert Witness Says It's Susceptible." That attorney general was calling his assistant who was questioning me and asked, "What's going on?"

Nebeker:

Bad point for a recess.

Kesselman:

Right. It was planned that way. The first you had to do was say yes, it's susceptible. But knowing it's susceptible, these precautions have been taken, and it can be operated in a legitimate way. The trial was in Monmouth County and the trial judge was to give his report to the State Supreme Court.

Nebeker:

You came back the next day and completed your testimony?

Kesselman:

Yes. I might have been there two days. Anyway, it was upheld that the way the State Police used the breathalyzer was all right.

Nebeker:

I see. You were able to show that the police radio was not significantly affecting the readings?

Kesselman:

The way it was operated, there was no problem.

Nebeker:

That's very interesting.

Kesselman:

That was not part of my job.

Nebeker:

That’s a way that EMC got into a public issue that's interesting. Is anything else that I haven't asked about on which you'd like to comment?

Kesselman:

No. I guess my memory bank is not responding as well as when I was younger.

Nebeker:

Thank you very much for the interview.