Sunday 15 August 2004

John Kraus passes away

Dr John Kraus passed away on 18 July 2004. He was an Electrical Engineer known for his extensive knowledge of electromagnetics and antennas. He designed and built the Big Ear radio telescope that was used for Radio Astronomy and SETI research. It hosted the longest-running SETI program and received the famous 'Wow' signal in 1977.

He is the inventor of the helix antenna which is a simple antenna that can have wide bandwidth and high gain, depending on design. Helix antennas are used in, among other applications, radio telescopes and satellite communications. Their simple construction makes them a popular choice for amateur enthusiasts and professionals. The short, 'rubber duck' antennas on handheld radios are often a version of the helix antenna. His description of the functioning of the helix antenna is still the best available, explaining the physical process before getting into the mathematics. This is the mark of someone who truly understood his subject.

John Kraus also held the amateur radio callsign W8JK.

Below are some links with a lot of information on John Kraus and his achiements: