ABOUT RUSSELL M. GENET, Ph.D.
AND THE HISTORY OF THE FAIRBORN INSTITUTE

Russell M. Genet (Russ) founded the Fairborn Observatory in 1979—named after the nearby town of Fairborn, Ohio, not far from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where Russ worked as a research and development supervisor. He developed automatic telescopes and fully robotic observatories with Louis Boyd from 1980 to 1992.  Their first fully automatic operation was in 1983, and his 1985 book, Microcomputer Control of Telescopes (with Mark Trueblood), provided a guide to the computerization and automation of many telescopes. The Fairborn Observatory was relocated to Mt. Hopkins in southern Arizona in 1985, and recommenced operation in 1986 as the Automatic Photoelectric Telescope Service in conjunction with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. By the late 1980s the Fairborn Observatory consisted of seven fully automated and remotely accessed telescopes—including four 0.8-meter telescopes—all operating in an unmanned observatory.  

 

Russ and Douglas Hall (Vanderbilt University) co-founded the International Amateur-Professional Photoelectric Photometry (IAPPP) Association in 1980. The IAPPP, which played a key role in the development of robotic observatories, featured annual meetings, and its quarterly journal, the IAPPP Communications, was published for a quarter century. The IAPPP West morphed into the Society for Astronomical Silences and is still going strong some 35 years later. Russ served as the 52nd President of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (1993-1995). 

 

For the past decade, the Astronomy Research Seminar he initiated has produced well over 100 student team papers on double star astrometry. Russ has been active in the advancement of speckle interferometry on smaller telescopes. He is a member of the faculty at California Polytechnic State University, Cuesta College, Concordia University, and Leeward Community College in Oahu (where he spends the winters). Russ has a BS in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Astronomy.

 

Email: russmgenet@aol.com

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Astronomy

Research, Development, Education

Aviation

Research, Development, Education

The Humanities

Research, Development, Education

© 2018 by Russell M. Genet and The Fairborn Institute