QST de W1AW
Special Bulletin 6 ARLX006
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT July 21, 2004
To all radio amateurs
SB SPCL ARL ARLX006
ARLX006 John D. Kraus, W8JK, SK
Radio astronomer, antenna designer, cosmic explorer and author John D. Kraus, W8JK, of Delaware, Ohio, died July 18. He was 94. While he enjoyed a worldwide reputation, Kraus is perhaps best known in Amateur Radio circles for his bi-directional wire beam antenna--often dubbed the '8JK array. Other important Kraus designs include the corner reflector and helix antennas. The Michigan native was a pioneer of radiotelescope design and the father of the "Big Ear" radiotelescope.
Following an early fascination with radio, Kraus first became licensed as 8AFJ. He later was granted the now-famous W8JK call sign. A graduate of Michigan State University, he joined the faculty of the Ohio State University 1946, serving as a professor of electrical engineering and astronomy and founding and directing the OSU Radio Observatory. In that capacity, Kraus designed and oversaw construction of the Big Ear on the campus of nearby Ohio Wesleyan University.
Kraus's classic textbook Antennas, now in its second edition, has been an engineering school staple for decades and can be found in virtually every antenna engineer's library. Among his other titles are Electromagnetics, Radio Astronomy, Big Ear, Big Ear Two and Our Cosmic Universe. Kraus also wrote several articles for QST from the 1930s until the 1980s, including a "recap and update" of his W8JK antenna in the June 1982 issue.
Kraus was a fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 1996, Dayton Hamvention honored Kraus as the recipient of its Special Achievement Award. In 2001, CQ named Kraus to the inaugural class of its Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.
In 1978, after the "Big Ear" detected the still-unidentified "Wow!" signal that suggested the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, Kraus launched Cosmic Search, a magazine devoted to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The Big Ear fell victim to development pressures and was torn down in 1998.
Arrangements are incomplete.