James Kellogg; Aerial Vehicle Engineer

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By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 11, 2008

James Cornell Kellogg, 51, a research engineer who conducted cutting-edge experiments on aerial vehicles for the Defense Department, died of kidney cancer July 11 at his home in Alexandria.

Since 2000, Mr. Kellogg helped design and develop technologies supporting unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, including the Dragon Eye aircraft that is in service with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan and is part of a National Air and Space Museum exhibit.

He specialized in the development of micro air vehicles, or MAVs, particularly those that rely on flapping flight or such multiple means of propulsion as flying and sailing, crawling or hovering. Uses for these vehicles include military reconnaissance, law enforcement surveillance, video- and photojournalism and environmental monitoring.

They can be used to conduct special, limited-duration missions, according to a synopsis of a book Mr. Kellogg co-wrote and edited, "Introduction to the Design of Fixed-Wing Micro Air Vehicles" (2007).

"Significant advances in the miniaturization of electronics make it now possible to use vehicles of this type in a detection or surveillance role to carry visual, acoustic, chemical, or biological sensors," according to the book's publisher, the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics.

Mr. Kellogg, who went by Jim, spent more than 20 years providing innovative research for Department of Defense projects. For the past 10 years, he worked in the tactical electronic warfare division of the Naval Research Laboratory. He presented papers on the unique concept vehicles at conferences worldwide. Last year, he received the Naval Research Lab's Alan Berman Research Publication Award for the book.

Before working on the aerial vehicles, he worked in the Naval Research Lab's plasma physics division on the development of large fusion research devices for laser beam and pulse power research. In the mid-1980s, he did similar research on the Texas Experimental Tokamak at the University of Texas in Austin.

Mr. Kellogg was born in Coronado, Calif., and received a bachelor's degree in physics from Yale University in 1979. He was a founding member of the Yale Gilbert and Sullivan Society and was known for portraying famous patter baritone roles such as Ko-Ko and the Lord Chancellor.

He received a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Rochester in 1981.

Mr. Kellogg was a docent at the National Air and Space Museum's Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility in Suitland from 1988 to 2003 and its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport from 2003 to 2007.

At Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, an Episcopal church in Alexandria, Mr. Kellogg was a chorister and soloist. He organized and performed in nonliturgical venues, including a parish rock band, a doo-wop group, an early music quartet and the annual parish musical review.

He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Dorothy Allen Kellogg of Alexandria; two sons, Allen Kellogg and Stephen Kellogg, both of Alexandria; his parents, retired Navy Cmdr. Dean L. Kellogg and Charlotte Kellogg of San Antonio; and three brothers.

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