AOC Dahlgren Speaker - Space Age Intelligence: Cold War to Hot War
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend
AOC Dahlgren Speaker - Space Age Intelligence: Cold War to Hot War

A history of Electronic Warfare in Space during the cold war, as recounted by Dr. John O'Hara. This event is open to all, however seats are limited and advanced registration is required. A complementary lunch will be provided.

When: Wednesday
Speaker 11 AM to 12 PM, lunch 12 PM to 1 PM
Where: Amentum (AECOM) Main Conference Room
16156 Dahlgren Rd
United States
Presenter: Dr. John O'Hara
Contact: Stuart Moran
540 656 0116

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  


Please register.  Seating is limited.

Informational Consent:  The AOC and AECOM will share the registration information collected via the event registration process.  These parties may use the collected information for event execution as well as marketing purposes.  AOC sponsored technical seminars such as this one are made possible solely by the support of industry sponsorship.  Click HERE to view the AOC's Privacy Policy.


Event Description

Dr. O’Hara flew on Strategic Air Command’s B-47 aircraft during the early 1950s, and by the 1960s he was working for the National Security Agency in the Telemetry and Space area.  He helped decode and understand electronic intelligence information from the Soviet Union and served as head of ELINT programs, satellite programs, and eventually became Deputy Chief Scientist at the NSA.  In this presentation, he will discuss how the US had very limited information on the USSR due to the iron curtain, and how that drove the US into developing space reconnaissance. He will describe the types of telemetry used by the USSR during the cold war and how the US intercepted and processed the signals to determine new weapon systems capabilities.  He will also provide details about the politicians and military people involved during this time period and discuss how and why they made decisions on particular satellite programs. He will conclude with a discussion of the importance of space intelligence on our military combat operations. 


Event Schedule

The event will be hosted in the Amentum (AECOM) main conference room.

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM On-Site Registration
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Guest Speaker Talk
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Complementary Lunch*


* A "fair share" contributions box will be provided to accommodate those with ethics obligations


Presenter Bio

Image result for dr. john o'hara

Dr. O’Hara enlisted in the USAF and flew as a flight-qualified radar and bomb-navigation system technician on B-47 aircraft for SAC during the early 1950s. He received a bachelor’s degree in EE from University of Arizona, a master’s from University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from Catholic University of America in 1968. 
He worked for NSA in the Telemetry and Space area during this timeframe. In 1966 he was the engineer who decoded and printed out the pictures from the Soviet Union LUNA 9 satellite, the first man-made object to make a soft landing on the moon.

From 1969- 2001, he worked for the NSA as a design engineer, and became chief of satellite programs, ELINT programs, and NSA advanced research programs before becoming Deputy Chief Scientist at the NSA.

Since 2001 he has served as a consultant and Active Reservist to NSA covering topics including directed energy programs and cryptologic history. 
He has received numerous awards and patents including the NSA Director's Distinguished Service Medal and AOC’s Gold and Silver awards and was selected into the AOC Technology Hall of Fame.  He continues to play an active role in Senior Level Department of Defense study teams, as a lecturer and thesis advisor, and as Crow of the year awardee for the Chesapeake Bay Roost.


Event Sponsorship

This event is being provided in partnership with the AOC and Amentum, formerly AECOM.

With over 13,000 members internationally, the Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.
This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.