The FARS Technical Committee Advisor on Spectrum Management Thomas von Deak suddenly passed away on July 30, 2021, aged 67.
Thomas (Tom) von Deak suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on July 30, 2021, at the age of 67, in his home in Medina, Ohio. He is survived by his loving wife, Amanda, seven children and stepchildren, five grandchildren and three siblings.
Tom graduated from Cornell University with an Electrical Engineering degree. He worked for more than 20 years at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, during which time he was a spectrum manager in the NASA Office of Spectrum Management for 18 years. He was responsible for ensuring that all spectrum/regulatory aspects of NASA Earth science remote sensing program were addressed in the proceedings within the International Telecommunications Union – Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).
Tom retired from NASA in 2018, and, along with being a consultant for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), he became more and more involved in the Frequency Allocations in Remote Sensing (FARS) Technical Committee of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), participating in many of its activities. His contribution to representing IEEE GRSS and defending the interests of the remote sensing community at US national level and internationally at the ITU-R and the Space Frequency Coordination Group (SFCG) was invaluable. In 2020, Tom had also started getting engaged in the IGARSS 2021 organization with the planning of the FARS Technical Committee invited technical sessions.
Tom had an optimistic personality and was always looking at the bright side even in negative situations. He was enthusiastic about his work and able to transmit his energy to those around him. He was a friend for many within the FARS Technical Committee. With his death, the remote sensing community has lost an exceptional champion and will be sorely missed.
Thank you Tom from all your friends in the FARS Technical Committee and at GRSS!