Nathan Okun Biography

Born, raised, and still living in Southern California, USA.

50 years old (as of 22 December 1998).

BA in Mathematics and Physics (UCLA 1972) Electronic and Computer Engineer, GS-855/854, GS-5 to GS-12, from 1972 to present.

Worked at the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division, Surface Warfare/AEGIS AAW Weapon System Department, Weapons Direction and Fire-Control Software Division.  Until 1993, worked for the now-defunct TERRIER Long-Range AAW Systems Department, where I worked on TERRIER AAW Guided Missile Fire-Control System hardware and software, including the Tactical GMFCS Digital Computer Program, its utilities and test software, and the Wrap-Around System Program developmental, test, and maintenance software that faked an on-ship environment (a kind of boring computer warfare game system where I could control the simulated ship, the simulated sea state, the simulated enemy targets, the simulated GMFCS hardware, and the simulated human console inputs to see if the real TERRIER software program was working according to specifications).

In 1993, switched to the latest version of the TARTAR Medium-Range AAW Systems Department that was absorbed by the AEGIS AAW Systems Department shortly thereafter.  Did the same kind of work for TARTAR as I did for TERRIER until the TARTAR New Threat Upgrade (Standard Missile Type 2 Medium Range) GMFCS in the U.S.  Navy was decommissioned in 1997 as was TERRIER before it, leaving AEGIS as the only medium and long-range AAW missile system in the U.S.  Navy.   At the moment I am changing jobs to either support any foreign navy that may buy the TARTAR NTU ships and/or to support AEGIS and other new naval software designs, as directed.

I am a naval historian as a hobby, with a couple of articles published in WARSHIP INTERNATIONAL, the journal of the International Naval Records Organization, concerning warship armor and projectile design, which is my specialty.  I started in this hobby during my UCLA years after playing various miniature and board games using land and naval armored equipment and realizing that the subject of armor and projectile design was not handled very well, if at all, in these games.  I assigned myself the task to remedy this omission as though I was my own class professor assigning me a term project.  At the time I did not know how little was actually known as to the theory behind armor and ordnance design during the Age of Ironclads (1855-1945) and how much I would have to dig to develop my own data base, theories, and computer software to simulate things and compare the results of my ideas with real-life results, where available.  Thirty years later I am still working on this subject and have been extremely successful in most areas, though some holes in my understanding still exist for future research to solve (I had no idea how stubborn I am when I first assigned myself this task; I find that I can NEVER quit a problem until I solve it!).

Other interests: Science Fiction and Fantasy (especially humorous authors such as Terry Pratchett), aviation, music, computer art, and all forms of science in general (especially General Relativity, where I am finding my extensive physics, engineering, and mathematics education as about as useful as a kindergarten-level education in basket weaving would be--differential geometry is HARD to learn by oneself!).




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