HALL OF FAME
E-Mail: Museum Director
Mr. Robert E. Lechtenberg
Army Materiel Test And Evaluation Directorate
Robert E. Lechtenberg was born September 10, 1920. He
attended Iowa State University at Ames from 1939 to 1942 and again in 1946 and
1947, graduating with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering. In
subsequent years he did post-graduate work at the University of Maryland,
Johns Hopkins University and New Mexico State University.
Lechtenberg came to White Sands in 1950 as an ordnance
engineer. He took a yearlong leave in 1952 to serve as a U.S. Navy pilot. When
he returned to White Sands, he worked as a project engineer with the Nike
Ajax, La Crosse and Dart missile programs. He then progressed to project
manager for the Hawk missile system and later to deputy chief of the
Surface-to-Air Missile Project Branch of the Army Materiel Test and Evaluation
Directorate. For the next 10 years, he was chief of the division. In 1966, he
assumed the duties of ARMTE technical director.
Some of his most significant contributions to WSMR were
in the advancement of missile test methods and the application of that
technology to the evaluation of air defense systems. He emphasized statistical
test design. He pioneered the interactive use of computer simulation studies
to design flight tests and the use of flight test performance data to refine
computer simulation models.
Lechtenberg spearheaded the study that justified the
northern range extension, a 40-mile by 40-mile area, which materially increased the WSMR test
capability and is still in use.
Lechtenberg retired from White Sands in 1972.