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Captain Carl I. Aslakson
retired from the Coast and Geodetic Survey, U.S. Department of carl aslaksonCommerce, on May 1, 1955, after an outstanding career of more than 30 years. Captain Aslakson has gained international recognition in electronic applications in the field of geodetic surveying. His last assignment prior to retirement was technical advisor on electronic survey and geodesy at the Long-Range Proving Ground guided missile range at Cocoa, Florida.

Captain Aslakson was born on April 23, 1896, at Park River, North Dakota. He attended the South Dakota State College in 1915 and received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota in September 1923. While a student at the university he worked part time for the Minnesota Highway Department as a Material Testing Engineer. He was on active duty with the 4th South Dakota Infantry during the Mexican Border Campaign and in July 1917, joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He saw 2 years of active duty in World War I, and attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant before being inactivated in June 1923. Captain Aslakson entered on duty with the Coast and Geodetic Survey on October 2, 1923. His first assignment was Deck Officer and Observer in triangulation in Lake Okeechobee, Florida. As he continued his career he specialized in field operations in geodesy, geophysics, topography, and hydrography. He also served on Bureau vessels in the coastal waters of the United States, Alaska, and the Philippines and was later engaged on triangulation, gravity, base measuring and levels in all parts of the United States. In 1939, Captain Aslakson was technical advisor attached to staff, Commanding Officer of the 1st Observation Battalion, U.S. Field Artillery and later that same year established airplane speed courses for the USAF, at Wright, Scott, and Lowry Fields. He was also in charge of the U.S. delegation to the Commission for Cooperative Gravimetric Observation in Peru and Columbia in 1940-41.

Captain Aslakson was assigned to the Air Force as Major in March 1942, and first worked on weather research. From March to October of 1943, he was with the 311 Mapping and Charting Wing, making maps for air navigation over South America. His next assignment was the China-Burma-India Theater, doing the same type of work after which he returned to Brazil. In November 1945, he was assigned to a special Shoran project in Colorado which is considered to be a far-reaching development in Geodesy. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1946 and the following year, Shoran research was completed in an extensive project in Florida, Cuba, and the Bahama Islands.

Captain Aslakson returned to the Coast and Geodetic Survey in July 1947. For the next 2 years he was engaged in work with Shoran for hydrographic survey on shipboard and the electronic position indicator for hydrographic surveying in the Gulf of Mexico. He spent the summer of 1949 covering the greater part of Alaska and the entire Arctic region for the purpose of making plans for completing the geodetic control of Alaska.

In late 1949, he was reassigned to the Air Force for special work and attached to the 7th Geodetic Control Squadron as observer and technical advisor. This assignment involved testing new high-precision Shoran in Florida. Of recent world-wide interest is the new value suggested by Captain Aslakson for measuring the speed of light, science's most time-honored measuring stick. This value is about 10 miles an hour greater than the value currently in use. Captain Aslakson's value has recently been corroborated by other observers in England and Sweden.

Captain Aslakson is author of Instructions to Lightkeepers on First-Order Triangulation; Precise Alinement; Electronic Distance Measurements; Radio Meteorology; Radio Wave Propagation; and subjects in geodesy published in various technical magazines. He has given many addresses on these subjects before military organizations and educational, civics, and businessmen's organizations. In 1952, he was awarded the Department of Commerce's Gold Medal by the Secretary of Commerce for outstanding service to the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Department.

Among the organizations in which he holds membership, are the Washington Academy of Sciences, American Society of Civil Engineers, Washington Society of Engineers, Philosophical Society of Washington, Society of American Military Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


The Buzzard,5/18/1955

Captain Carl Ingman Aslakson, NOAA (Retired) - April 23, 1896 to March 11, 1982. Captain Aslakson was born in Park River, North Dakota. He attended the South Dakota State College in 1915 and received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota in September 1923. He was on active duty with the South Dakota Infantry during the Mexican Border Campaign and in July 1917 joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He saw 2 years of active duty in World War I and attained the rank of Second Lieutenant before being inactivated in June 1923.

Captain Aslakson entered on duty with the Coast and Geodetic Survey on October 2, 1923. His first assignment was Deck Officer and observer in triangulation in Lake Okeechobee, Florida. As he continued his career he specialized in field operations in geodesy, geophysics, topography, and hydrography. He also served on NOAA vessels in the coastal waters of the United States, Alaska, and the Philippines and was later engaged on triangulation, gravity, base measuring and levels in all parts of the United States.

In 1939 he was technical advisor attached to staff, commanding officer of the First Observation Battalion, U.S. Field Artillery and later established airplane speed courses for the U.S. Air Force; from 1940-1941 he was in charge of the U.S. delegation to the commission for cooperative gravimetric observation in Peru and Columbia; in March 1942 he was assigned to the Air Force as Major; from March to October 1943 he was with the 311 Mapping and Charting Wing, making maps for air navigation over South America; and in November 1945 he was assigned to a special Shoran project in Colorado and was promoted to Colonel in 1946. Captain Aslakson returned to the Coast and Geodetic Survey in July 1947. For the next 2 years he was engaged in work with Shoran and the Electronic Position Indicator System for hydrographic surveying in the Gulf of Mexico. He spent the summer of 1949 covering the greater part of Alaska and the entire Arctic region for the purpose of making plans for completing the geodetic control of Alaska.

Captain Aslakson retired on May 1, 1955, after an outstanding career of more than 30 years. He gained international recognition in electronic applications in the field of geodetic surveying. His last assignment prior to retirement was technical advisor on electronic survey and geodesy at the Long-Range Proving Ground guided missile range at Cocoa, Florida. In 1952, he was awarded the Department of Commerce's Gold Medal for outstanding service to the Department of Commerce. Captain Aslakson is survived by his wife, the former Marian Corbin of Savannah, Georgia, and one son, Richard Corbin.


NOAA Corps Bulletin, 3/1/1982

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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