Arnold, David Christopher 1967-

views updated

Arnold, David Christopher 1967-

PERSONAL:

Born November 13, 1967. Education: Auburn University, graduate.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Colorado Springs, CO.

CAREER:

Writer, educator, journalist, military strategic planner. U.S. Air Force Academy, former instructor.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Gill Robb Wilson Award, National Reconnaissance Office.

WRITINGS:

Spying from Space: Constructing America's Satellite Command and Control Systems, foreword by Forrest S. McCartney, Texas A&M University Press (College Station, TX), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

David Christopher Arnold, recipient of the Gill Robb Wilson Award from the National Reconnaissance Office for his writing on national defense, is the author of the 2005 book Spying from Space: Constructing America's Satellite Command and Control Systems. As Christopher E. Bailey noted on the CI Centre Web site, the book "fills an important gap in intelligence history, chronicling the previously classified development of the command and control system for America's reconnaissance satellites." In Spying from Space, Arnold sums up his historical overview: "Although separate from the mainstream, the air force did not invent satellite command and control on its own; a variety of scientists and engineers, free from the constraints of large industrial or governmental organizations, developed solutions to the issues that engineers and scientists encountered when working on the problem of satellite command and control." Thus, Arnold tells the inside story of how civilian contractors teamed up with the military to create the Air Force Satellite Control Facility (AFSCF), which in turn supported the National Reconnaissance Program, spearhead of the effort at spying from space. Arnold employs archival reports as well as interviews for this history, and balances the technical aspects of the task of developing the first satellite command and control system with the bureaucratic and human factors involved.

Writing in Air Power History, Stephane Lefebvre acknowledged the author "carefully documents the multidimensional hurdles faced by the AFSCF [including] the economic, political and social influences engineers had over ideas and their transformation into a very capable satellite command and control system." By 1960 the Air Force was collecting data from space that gave the United States a window into the otherwise impenetrable world of the Soviet Union. "The evolution of the Air Force satellite command and control system, from a single-user to a complex common-user system, is a story well-told by Mr. Arnold," wrote Bailey. Lefebvre termed Spying from Space "a useful and essential contribution to the history of the Air Force," and John E. Shaw, reviewing the book in Air & Space Power Journal, found the book "a necessary read for air and space professionals desiring to better understand and appreciate the rich heritage of space operations."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Air & Space Power Journal, summer, 2008, John E. Shaw, review of Spying from Space: Constructing America's Satellite Command and Control Systems, p. 115.

Air Power History, fall, 2006, Stephane Lefebvre, review of Spying from Space, p. 50.

Technology and Culture, July, 2006, Dwayne A. Day, review of Spying from Space, p. 645.

ONLINE

CI Centre Web site,http://cicentre.com/ (June 30, 2008), Christopher E. Bailey, review of Spying from Space.

Texas A&M University Press Web site,http://www.tamu.edu/upress/ (June 30, 2008), profile of author.

About this article

Arnold, David Christopher 1967-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article