Father of Missile Defense
• Dorothy and Julian, as partners in life, have also partnered to make large contributions of time, effort, money, and influence to make positive things happen in Huntsville. Two major museum facilities bare their names, but those are only the most visible representations of their generosity. - Editor's Note
• Named in honor of Dr. Julian and Dorothy Davidson: Davidson Center for the Arts. (They pledged $2 million toward the project in May 2007) - Huntsville Times, Art Museum
• Named in honor of Dr. Julian and Dorothy Davidson: Davidson Center for Space Exploration (houses the Saturn V Dynamic Test Vehicle in its custom-built facility at the US. Space and Rocket Center, in Huntsville, AL) - USSRC
• Dr. Davidson founded Davidson Technologies Inc. in 1996. This is a private company categorized under Engineering Services. - Manta
• "Dr. Julian Davidson was an early pioneer in U.S. space, missiles and missile defense programs. His career in the field began in 1957 and has spanned over 47 years of active involvement in missile defense planning, design and development. Dr. Davidson spent over 16 years in the U.S. Army's ballistic missile defense (BMD) program (1960-1976), and held positions of increasing levels of responsibility that defined the Army's BMD programs. In 1967 he served as the first Director of the U.S. Army Advanced Ballistic Missile Defense Agency. His career with the U.S. Government culminated in 1976 with his position as the U.S. Army's Deputy Program Manager for BMD. After leaving government service, Dr. Davidson continued to maintain an active role in the design and implementation of BMD programs in various industry and consulting positions.
Dr. Davidson's pioneering work included developing and applying systems engineering principles for the Nike-X antiballistic missile (ABM) system, which later became the Sentinel and Safeguard ABM systems, respectively. Using systems engineering, he defined the requirements for the Nike-X system's Perimeter Acquisition Radar, Missile Site Radar, Sprint missile, Spartan missile, and command and control system. These systems, in turn, led to the initial deployment of the nation's first operational national missile defense system, Safeguard, from October 1975 to February 1976.
Dr. Davidson's other missile defense accomplishments include developing the shoot-fail-shoot doctrine which is still being applied today. He led in developing the concept of preferential defense of Minutemen intercontinental ballistic missiles that made defense cost effective and competitive with other means of survival such as hardening, deception and mobility. He also participated in the first intercontinental ballistic missile intercept flight test in 1962, which employed a Nike Zeus ABM interceptor; and the first satellite intercept flight test in 1963, which employed a modified Nike Zeus ABM interceptor.
Dr. Davidson has served as member and chairman of numerous committees and panels dealing with missiles, including BMD and military and space systems. He is a former chairman of the Air Force Studies Board of the National Research Council and a former Vice Chairman of the Technology Assessment Committee of the U.S. Space Command for the National Research Council. He served as Chairman of the Conventional Weapons Panel of the Defensive Technologies Study Team, known as the Fletcher Commission, which recommended establishment of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. He also participated in several missile defense studies as a member of the Defense Science Board and Army Science Board, respectively.
Dr. Davidson twice received the Army Exceptional Civilian Service Award, he received the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association Medaris Award. He is a member of the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Employee Hall of Fame and the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame."
- MDARelated Links:
• Davidson Technologies Inc. - Company Webpage with Photo (Originally found at http://www.davidson-tech.com/company.php.)
• Huntsville Times, Art Museum - Article: "Public gets first look at Huntsville Museum of Art expansion" by Pat Ammons with photo of Dr. Julian and Dorothy Davidson by Dave Dieter. Posted November 21, 2010.
• Huntsville Times, DTI benefits - Article titled "Study shows employee benefits stay relatively stable in the last year" by Marian Accardi with photo posted September 12, 2010
• MDA - Missile Defense Agency, US Department of Defense, 2007 Pioneer Award Winner (Originally found at http://www.mda.mil/about/2007winners.html.)
• USSRC - Davidson Center for Space Exploration (Originally found at http://www.ussrc.com/mu/support/projects.)
• Manta - Company Profile
The Following Pages Link to this Page:
• Dorothy Davidson