Dr. Hans Liebe of Boulder, Colo., has been selected as the 2002 recipient of the Harry Diamond Memorial Award, the highest recognition for technical achievement given by the 235,000-member United States unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The award will be presented to Dr. Liebe on Saturday, March 29, 2003, in a ceremony at the Hilton Seattle Airport Hotel in Seattle, Washington.
Dr. Liebe is being honored for his outstanding technical contributions during his 30-year career at the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) in Boulder, the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce.
Dr. Liebe is internationally recognized for his pioneering research into how millimeter waves interact with the earth's atmosphere. Millimeter waves are extremely high frequency radio waves, smaller than an inch in length. Oxygen and water vapor absorb the energy of millimeter waves, limiting how far they can travel in the atmosphere. Rain can block and reflect back the tiny waves as they bounce off raindrops.
"Dr. Liebe's highly accurate laboratory measurements have opened up vast regions of the radio spectrum for use," said NTIA/ITS director Al Vincent. "His results have enabled the development of remote sensing technologies for studying the atmosphere, advanced military systems, and new telecommunication applications such as collision avoidance radars for automobiles."
Dr. Liebe is the sixth scientist at NTIA/ITS and its predecessor organizations to receive the prestigious Harry Diamond Award, which has been awarded annually since 1950. The previous winners include Dr. Newbern Smith in 1952, Jack Herbstreit in 1959, Dr. Kenneth Norton in 1960, Dr. James Wait in 1964, and Dr. William Utlaut in 1989.