Hall of Fame - Mr. George W. Gardiner
Museum Logo
WHITE SANDS MISSILE
RANGE MUSEUM

Privacy and
Security Notice

MUSEUM HOME

GENERAL
INFORMATION

MISSILE PARK

OTHER MISSILES

INSIDE EXHIBITS

HALL OF FAME

ARCHIVES

GUEST STORIES

WHITE SANDS
COMMANDERS

RANGE HISTORY

WHAT? WHO?

OLD-TIMERS
BULLETIN
BOARD


MISSILE  RANGE
HISTORICAL
FOUNDATION

WHITE  SANDS
PIONEER GROUP


WHITE SANDS
MISSILE RANGE
Home Page

US ARMY
CENTER OF
MILITARY HISTORY

OTHER LINKS


E-Mail: Museum Director
E-Mail: Webmaster

 

   

White Sands Missile Range
Hall of Fame

Page 23 of 53
Mr. George W. Gardiner
Director, Physical Science Lab
New Mexico State University

     George W. Gardiner was born July 28, 1897. He attended school at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada until the start of World War I. He enlisted in August 1914 and served the Canadian Army in England, France and Germany. On returning he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1923 from Acadia University in Nova Scotia. In 1929 he earned a doctorate in physics from Yale University.
     In 1946 he founded the Physical Science Laboratory at New Mexico State University and served as its director until his retirement in 1961. The lab was established to respond to requests for assistance by the Army, Navy, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (PSL). Since 1946 the lab has been engaged in support of the White Sands mission.
     One of Dr. Gardiner's first achievements was conceiving and implementing a "skyscreen" after an errant Hermes II missile crashed outside Juarez, Mexico. The skyscreen provided visible boundaries against the sky through which observers checked each missile's trajectory. If there was a malfunction, radio commands could be sent to the missile to cut off the engine or destruct it. It was the beginning of missile flight safety and led to real-time impact prediction.
     Under Gardiner's leadership, a close relationship developed between the range and PSL. The outgrowth was on-board missile instrumentation, telemetry systems, antenna design and testing, support of atmospheric sciences and upper atmospheric investigation and the bui1ding of probe and target missiles. In addition, Gardiner helped open the door for a cooperative training program for students in engineering, mathematics, physics and accounting at the range. Under the program students alternated six-month work phases at White Sands with six-month on-campus study.
     Gardiner died in December 1964. Gardiner Hall is a Physics Department building at NMSU named in his honor.