Robert H. Rines
Born Aug 30 1922 Died Nov 1 2009
Electric System; Microwave Scanning System; Sound Ranging System
High Resolution Radar and Sonar
Patent Number(s) 2,711,534; 2,711,440; 2,528,725
Robert H. Rines' contributions to the technology of high-resolution image-scanning radar and sonar began in the era of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Radiation Laboratory with modulation techniques for the Microwave Early Warning System developed secretly during World War II. In peace time, his inventions were basic to high-definition sonar scanning systems used in locating the Titanic and the Bismarck. They are also used in new medical instrumentation allowing noninvasive ultrasound imaging of internal organs.
His patents underlie nearly all the high-definition image-scanning radar used to provide early-warning, weapons fire-control, and some artillery and missile detection radars during the war in the Persian Gulf.
Born in Boston, Rines earned a B.S. in physics from M.I.T. After serving as an Army Signal Corps officer, he received a law degree from Georgetown in 1946 specializing in patent law. In 1972 he completed a Ph.D. thesis at Chiao Tung University in the Republic of China.
Rines, who holds more than 60 patents, has also written music for more than 10 Broadway and off-Broadway shows. He has been Gordon McKay Lecturer on Patent Law at Harvard and Lecturer on Invention, Patents, and Innovation at M.I.T. He has served on the Technical Advisory Board of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He founded the Academy of Applied Science stimulating innovation in children and adults and the Franklin Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire. He also helped establish an invention-encouraging patent system in mainland China. In 1972, using the same technology and borrowed cameras, Rines performed a scientific sonar search for the Loch Ness monster; though the images seem to show a large flipper and body, the results were not fully conclusive.