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Yaroslav Afanasyevich Khetagurov

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Doctor-engineer Y. A. Khetagurov is a leading expert in information processing and design, design engineering and production of digital control computer systems. He is a professor of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPI), an academician of the International Academy of Information and also a chief scientific collaborator at scientific research and production enterprise «Agate».

Yaroslav Afanasyevich Khetagurov

Yaroslav Afanasyevich Khetagurov

Khetagurov has been awarded the Lenin Premium, the USSR Council of Ministers Premium and decorated with orders of Lenin and of the October Revolution.

Yaroslav Khetagurov was born on the 12 th of May 1926 in Vladikavkaz ( North Ossetia ). Still in the school time he displayed big interest -and talents- in music. He also graduated from music college -violoncello department, what played notable positive role in his creative development. The post war years 1944-1950 were spent studying at the Moscow Higher Technical School (University), at the «Instrumentation» department, from which he graduated as a mechanic-engineer. After that he received a position at the Institute of Precession Mechanics and Computer Engineering (IPMaCE) headed by S.A. Lebedev. It was really lucky chance for a young engineer, to be at the (IPMaCE) — the leading computer institute headed by the most famous soviet computer scientist. There he was given perfect training in design and construction of digital computers — most progressive devices for computation and information processing. In 1954 he submitted a dissertation thesis on digital computers and received a scientific degree «candidate of technical sciences».

Y.A. Khetagurov has been working at the complex scientific centre «Agate» since 1958. Beginning as a chief of computer department he later became a vice director of the rocket engineering department and was eventually promoted to chief-engineer (deputy director on scientific work) of the whole «Agate» centre. At present Khetagurov is its chief scientific collaborator. There he performed a number of important projects in defense engineering.

In 1964 he received his doctorate and in 1967 became a professor. In 1960 the first soviet digital system (named «Kadr») for programmed operation control of space remote communications centre large antennae ADU-1000 was completed under his guidance at «Agate». The system parameters and characteristics perfectly corresponded to its operational demands. It was «Kadr» for which Khetagurov has been decorated with the Lenin Order and with special medal of the USSR Academy of Sciences presidium «The first human space flight». Other collaborators were also decorated with orders and medals.

His theoretical researches in digital programmed control systems had practical output also in civil economy. The programmed digital control system for milling cutter automat was awarded a Silver medal of the State Economy Achievements Exhibition in 1961.

In 1958-1962 he headed, as chief designer, development of the first soviet mobile (carried in trailer) semiconductor computer 5E89 (also called «Kurs-1») for the antiaircraft defense. That computer was the first system with incorporated multi-program operation mode with time sharing and part-of-word operations. Its progressive technical solutions made «Kurs-1» a unified computer with secondary information processing in real time mode. Computer «Kurs-1» has been in serial production for 25 years (till 1987).

Y.A. Khetagurov performed numerous researches and authored projects in various fields, however, special computers and digital information processing systems for navy became his most impressive scientific contribution.

In 1964-1965, after a fundamental research he designed set of basic logical components (units) «Asov-1» with built-in basic logical functions, most often implemented in control systems. «Asov-1» was subsequently developed into (also basic) digital computer «Asov» with more advanced structure and parameters. It was one of the first Soviet computers with microprogramming control designed on matrix-modular principle. The system of basic modules, each one with specific functions, increased flexibility and enabled easy creation of highly reliable computing systems, with possibility of broad varying their speed and memory capacity and with high authenticity of output data. The computer basic architecture as well as the modules enabled its operation in multi-program and real-time mode. They implemented special operation control methods. «Asov» modules also efficiently supported information exchange through radial and main-line circuits both in multiplex and selection mode, in parallel with programmed information processing. One of its principal characteristic features also consisted in automatic back-up control in case of the system failure or partial damage. There is no need to prove how important is a perfect automatic reserve system for modern military equipment. Those were basic reasons for broad usage of «Asov» modules in naval computing systems.

Several dozens of various computing, with circuitry composed on «Asov» modules, have been produced and implemented in various naval control systems. Numerous digital computers with real time automatic control of reserve could be mentioned among his most interesting and important inventions. «Asov» modules were widely used in Khetegurov’s on-board computers (special computers), such as fire control system for submarine missile-launching installations and its modifications, or in computer «ALT» for flight task in submarine strategic missile launching complex «Taifun». Y. A. Khetagurov also headed scientific work on development of new specialised control computers for ballistic rocket launching installation and also another, more advanced type of on-board computers for flight task.

Statistic data on long-lasting operation of his special computers in submarines also proved advantages of his scientific and engineering solutions. His computers demonstrated high reliability and as well as authenticity of their output data what is a factor of great importance, especially in case of arms with nuclear war-heads.

In 1988 Khetagurov presented his new computer with high-level programming language.

Khetagurov’s scientific contribution to development of the USSR strategic navy was prized with the Lenin Premium in 1974, with Order of the October Revolution in 1978 and honourable premium of Academician V. P. Makeev«[1] in 1999. His progressive discoveries and engineering solutions are recognised and confirmed by almost 120 patents.

In spite of being extremely busy with scientific researches Khetagurov always manages to find some time for education. He has been permanently teaching at the MEPI since 1955. Here he participated in establishing and headed departments (chairs) of «Automatic Control Systems» and «Intellectual control systems».

He also headed scientific projects of MEPI on new time-sharing system for educational computer centre with collective access, a system for automation of scientific researches and an automatic system for the University administration. In 1982 the work was awarded the USSR Council of Ministers premium.

He himself, as a scientific supervisor, headed more than 70 dissertation researches of post graduates, for the «Candidate of sciences» degree, and has been a consultant in 13 researches for «Doctor of science» degree. He is also a member of the MEPI and other scientific councils on conferment of scientific degrees.

Some sceptics might think that such amount of work to perform is impossible for one man. However, the «secret» is very simple. Professor Khetagurov is not «a chief of all trades», but he possesses a rare ability to work with seeming easiness but with extreme efficiency. Just «make the crucial decisions at the correct time». He has got a born gift to see the whole structure of a new work with all its functions in all possible variants, with both inter- and external connections in action, and at the same time to quickly -and deeply- analyse it up to the smallest details.

This always helps him to find the «key points», that is decisive solutions. Just «quickly and easily». Then the subsequent work turns into an «executive chain reaction» and can be easily made by others.

Khetagurov is a man of reason, he skillfully gives proofs of his projects, no matter how abstract, with precise economic calculations. But he is also a man of inspiration; of creative art. Most typical features of his projects — reliability, precision, authenticity and simple rational design are at the same time chief features of his own personality. However, if you have a lucky chance to speak to him, you won’t see a «great man» near you, just a friendly, aged but energetic, gentleman with very simple manners and very shrewd eyes.

Now, he is working with new projects of some of his special computers. «As always».

Y.A. Khetagurov is an honorable professor of MIEF. In 1992 he was elected as an academician of the International Academy of Informatics, and also as a vice-president of its «Computer engineering» department. Among other awards he was decorated with medal of the USSR Academy of Sciences Presidium «The first manned space flight» and the prestigious, 100 years of Lenin’s birthday jubilee, medal «For merits in labour».

22 books, numerous monographs, educational publications as well as 151 articles and scientific reports present Khetagurov’s scientific experience.

Most popular are the following works :
— «Digital computers for control — basic principles of engineering design». ’Radio I Svyaz’ (Radio and communications) Moscow;
— «Increasing reliability of digital computing systems with usage of superfluous coding methods». Energia, Moscow;
— «Multiprocessor computation systems», Energia, Moscow;
— «Determined reliability theory for a single computer or a system», M. published by MEPI;
— «Designing of computation and information processing complexes», M. «Higher school»
— «Design of automatic systems for information processing and control», M. «Higher school» 2006. 223 pp. 


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