Walter P. Kistler
Wall of Honor Level:Air and Space Sponsor
Honored By:Mr. Walter P. Kistler
A native of Switzerland, Walter Kistler studied sciences at the University of Geneva and obtained a Master's Degree in Physics from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Mr. Kistler moved to the United States in 1951, and joined Bell Aerosystems in Buffalo, NY in 1952. There he invented and developed a pulse constraint servo-accelerometer, which was later used in the guidance of the Agena space rocket. For this work, he received the Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
In 1957, Mr. Kistler started his own company, Kistler Instrument Corporation, in Buffalo, NY to further pursue his work in quartz instruments. One of the company's major innovations was the invention and development of the Piezotron, a semiconductor module that transformed a high impedance quartz sensor to a low impedance instrument. Several accelerometers of this type were used in the Apollo manned spaceflight project. Through these inventions Kistler Instrument Corporation acquired a worldwide reputation.
Mr. Kistler's life-long interest in space led him to co-founding Kistler Aerospace Corporation in 1993 to design and build the world's first totally reusable space vehicle. The company operates out of joint headquarters in Kirkland, WA and Los Angeles, CA.
Mr. Kistler is a life-member of the Swiss Physical Society, a member of the ISA and AIAA. He is listed in American Men of Science, in Who's Who in Aviation, Who's Who in Finance and Industry and Who's Who in the World. He is the owner of over fifty U.S. and foreign patents and is the author of several papers published in scientific and trade journals. His latest honor is a life achievement award bestowed upon him by the ISA in July of 2000.