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Dr Paul A. Suhler will give a seminar on 

RAINBOW and GUSTO: Stealth and the Design of the Lockheed Blackbird

Wednesday 11 December 2013, 14:00, Parsons Building (Crossland Lecture Theatre)

Lockheed A-12 Blackbird

When the first flights of the U-2 spyplane over the Soviet Union were tracked by air defense radars, the CIA realized that it was only a matter of time before it would be shot down, and thus began a crash program to reduce its radar cross section. This effort evolved into a competition to design a follow-on aircraft that would be invisible to radar. Over a period of two years, Lockheed and Convair explored a variety of subsonic and supersonic designs and tradeoffs among performance, payload, and RCS, resulting in selection of the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird. While the efforts were not completely successful, they laid the basis for future developments in low-observable aircraft, such as the F-117 and B-2.

Dr Paul Suhler is a computer engineer in the data storage industry, working for Quantum Corporation in Irvine, California, where he has contributed to the creation of seven different removable-media storage devices. A specialist in communication protocols and computer security, he has participated extensively in the development of computing standards, and received the 2009 Technical Excellence Award from the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards. He has published numerous conference and journal papers in parallel computing.

Suhler received the BSEE and PhD in computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and the MS in computer engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. A former Regular Army officer, he has also been a research staff member at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and a research assistant professor at the University of Southern California. He holds a commercial pilot license and a US Parachute Association C license. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Please contact Tim Persoons ( for more information.