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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX006 (2004)

ARLX006 John D. Kraus, W8JK, SK

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 6  ARLX006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  July 21, 2004
To all radio amateurs 

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 the University of Michigan, 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

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.


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