M. Donald Adcock

M. Donald Adcock
Talladega, AL, USA
Associated organizations
MIT Rad Lab, Hughes Aircraft Company
Fields of study
Radar, Microwave technology


M. Donald Adcock (IRE Senior Member, 1956) was born in Talladega, Alabama, on 16 August 1921. He received the A.B. degree in physics from Howard College, Birmingham, Alabama. He also studied radar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, in 1944.

In 1942, Adcock joined M.I.T.'s Radiation Laboratory, under L.C. Van Atta, where he designed, supervised, and operated the first primary-pattern apparatus which was the forerunner of many such equipment. He also assisted in the development of the original ground-based microwave fire-control antenna and worked on the first cut paraboloid antenna design. In 1944, he joined the Navy as a Radar Officer, and after military service, he worked for the Antenna Research Branch, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. There he developed broad-band antennas and conducted research with A. E. Marston on helical radiators.

In 1951, Adcock was employed by Hughes Aircraft Company, Culver City, California, as Head of the Microwave Laboratory where he was responsible for many antenna developments, such as two-dimensional slot arrays, low-frequency very-large antenna systems, and reconnaissance antennas. In addition, he co-founded American Systems, Inc., Inglewood, California, where he headed the Electromagnetic Systems Division.