Obituary: Dr. Frank Edgar Bothwell

Dr. Frank E. Bothwell, 88, died of interstitial lung disease September 12, 2006 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He was a resident of Falls Church, Virginia for 43 Years.

Dr. Bothwell was born in Saginaw, Michigan on February 25, 1918 and attended M.I.T where he earned BS degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering and a PHD in Mathematics. Early in his career Dr. Bothwell taught mathematics and engineering at MIT, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago.

Dr. Bothwell had over 50 years experience in operations, management, and development in the fields of weapon system analysis, operations research, war games analysis and force level analyses. He was especially active in the fields of pro-submarine and antisubmarine warfare. He contributed to analyses of trailing and distributed sensor field effectiveness, the potential combat effectiveness of advanced naval surface and air vehicles, and the study of the arms control impact of U.S. and foreign naval weapon systems developments. He received the Department of Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Medal and the 1961 L.T.E. Thompson Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of ordinance.

Dr. Bothwell’s work in weapon system analysis started early and included work on radar analysis at the MIT radiation Laboratory during World War II and on the early phases of planning and analysis of such weapons as Sidewinder and Polaris as Head of the Weapons Planning Group at the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, California. His duties at the University of Chicago in 1947-1950 and again in 1958-1962, as Director of the Applied Science Laboratory, included the development of the first large scale US Air Force air combat simulations.

As the Director of the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) from 1962-1969, Dr. Bothwell set the direction of every major naval force level study, including the Cyclops ASW and War at Sea Series, the Tactical Air Warfare Series, the Fleet Air Defense Series, and several amphibious warfare studies. During his last two years at CNA, he developed, organized, and directed the teaching of the Department of Defense special course in systems analysis for selected officers and civil servants of all branches of the services.

Following his retirement in 1983, he undertook a number of consulting assignments.  In support of SECURES, a system of dispersed microphones for instantaneous detection, recognition and location of gunshots in an urban or military environment, Dr. Bothwell co-authored the development of the mathematical tools. These tools maximize gunshot detection probability by discriminating gunshots from other transient sounds and triangulate among several sensors for accurate gun location.

Dr. Bothwell is survived by eight children, 19 grand children, and four great-grandchildren.