PSL's personnel roster and level of effort remained fairly constant in 1948-1949 compared to 1947, experiencing only modest growth until the early 1950s. A copy of the 1948 budget lists 35 full-time people and eight joint appointees. During this period, approximately ten full-time staff were added, the size of the PSL building was doubled, two new PSL groups were created, two new customers were welcomed, and the Viking rocket made its debut.
Raymond Bumgarner said that one of the first things he learned when he began working at the "Telemetering House" in 1948 was, when raising cable-trench covers to check wiring under the floor, to listen carefully for a "buzzer." That "buzzer" was on the end of a large rattlesnake that frequented those trenches in search of rats! The snake was considered quite a help, since rats were capable of considerable damage—they would gnaw on cable insulation, build nests in equipment racks, chew up valuable papers, and leave droppings everywhere, including desk drawers!
Among the highlights of 1948 at PSL:
- The PSL Annex was built.
- Leonard Gough and those who helped him on the Aerobee Notch Antenna project were officially designated the Antenna Section.
- PSL's NRL contract was expanded to include field support for a program that conducted ionosphere exploration using sounding rockets.
- Information concerning Aerobee firings during this time frame is minimal, but it is believed that five were launched in 1948.
Building the PSL Annex, 1948
Notch Antenna Insert and Aerobee Fin, 1949