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David S. Hanson (M.S., Physics, 1965; B.S., Physics, 1961)


Retirement is great and life is good.

I have been married to my wife Catherine since 1962. We have three
children, Elizabeth, Mark, and Eileen. We have four grandsons. Since
retiring in 2005, we spend the winter at home in Sarasota, FL, and divide our time in the summer between White Bear Lake, and a cabin
on Fortune Lake in the Michigan UP. Tennis is a year round activity.
In February and March 2008, we vacationed in France and Italy, and
finished with a cruise around the Mediterranean. We visited the Pacific Northwest on Amtrak recently, and plan to use the train again to visit Williamsburg, VA this fall. Retirement is great and life is good. After leaving the University, we moved to Ann Arbor for an engineering position with Bendix Aerospace. This was when LandSat was current, and Bendix had built the ground data processing station at Goddard.
I was working to develop an aerial remote sensing capability to
supplement satellite data. We had the corporate plane equipped with two imaging line scanners (IR and multi-spectral, i.e. several bands in the visible and near IR), and an aerial survey camera. The scanner data was tape recorded and processed in the MIRIA lab, the development
of which was my first job. This was lots of fun. We flew jobs all over the country. The best was a forest inventory project on the west slope of the Sierras for a timber company Bendix had acquired. This was ultimately unproductive and Bendix went out of that business. We
returned to Minnesota to work on an aerial survey capability for a land surveyor who wanted to expand into photogrammetric mapping, followed by development work in digital photogrammetry at Control Data. This evolved to the development of a reconnaissance system for the Defense Department where I worked with two major subcontractors to deliver imaging sensors for the prime system, ATARS. When this program was canceled before completion (a huge disappointment), I continued in the defense industry, working with many different subcontractors to deliver systems for inertial guidance, radar tracking, and other specialized devices. I retired from United Defense (now BAE Systems) in 2005. I am loving retirement. I can not call this a favorite memory, but it is certainly the most remembered. One day in 1963, Jim Mehl (Ph.D., Physics, 1966) came into one of the teaching labs on the second floor and told me the president had been shot. John Winckler and Ed Ney, who taught my first two undergraduate courses, were my favorite professors. I transferred to physics from the Forestry School. Winckler and Ney’s courses were my introduction to the School of Physics.