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The Wright Perspective℠

Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Twenty-one years ago I started my RADAR journey.

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Twenty-one years ago today (10/1/1991) was my first day in Navy boot camp. I remember laying there awake all night wondering, "What in the hell did I just get myself into?!?"

Looking back, it was a good decision and great timing. When I got out of the Navy, I had the opportunity to help build the first RADAR for TV stations at WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama. Visionary Bob Baron took an old military RADAR and created modern software for it. It was one of many 1sts. It was the first time you could track a storm down to the street level. It was the first time a TV meteorologist had control of their very own RADAR. It was the first time they had real-time data without having to wait 15 minutes for each NEXRAD scan. It was the first time digital data was able to be distributed through an analog TV signal using a tiny fraction of time not being used by the televisions.

A popular Tennessee Valley bumper sticker promoting Doppler Max 31 WAAY

Once all of the bugs were worked out, Baron made the switch to a modern high-power solid-state RADAR. The Baron Services empire quickly grew as those RADARs were installed in every TV market in the country. Any time you see a RADAR being displayed on your local television station, there is a good chance it came from Baron!

The work I did in the Navy saved many lives defending our country, but that was nothing compared to the millions of lives being saved from severe weather. That wouldn't have been possible without the training I got in the Navy. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing!

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

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