The Institute - March 2018 - 3
C E R R I T O, PA R AG UAY
An IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian
Technology (SIGHT) group worked with
Etnia Toba Qom tribe members to build a
sustainable, energy-efficient kitchen [below].
Bradford W. Parkinson
Medal of Honor
Goes to Parkinson
FROM TOP: MAURICIO BAUTISTA; IEEE SIGHT; BRADFORD W. PARKINSON; VISHRUT SHENOY
Members of the IEEE student branch at Anadolu
University gathered in front of the Dream Castle
[above] at Sazova Science, Art, and Culture
Park to celebrate IEEE Day in October.
Members of the IEEE Bombay Section's
Young Professionals affinity group [below]
visited a Jet Airways maintenance hangar.
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L I F E F E L L O W Bradford W. Parkinson
will receive the 2018 IEEE Medal of
Honor "for fundamental contributions to
and leadership in developing the design and
driving the early applications of the Global
As a colonel in the U.S. Air Force,
Parkinson was selected in 1972 to lead a
program to develop a new space-based navigation system. He was named chief architect
the following year to design GPS and served
as the first director of the Joint-Services GPS
Development Program Office, part of the
Department of Defense.
All segments of the GPS system were
designed and prototyped under Parkinson's
leadership. The first GPS satellites were produced and launched by 1977. A ground control system was developed under Parkinson's
watch and deployed to upload satellite data.
He retired from the Air Force in 1978 and
joined Colorado State University, in Fort
Collins, as a professor of mechanical engineering. From 1980 to 1984 he was vice president and general manager of Intermetrics, a
software company in Cambridge, Mass.
He joined Stanford in 1984 as a professor of aeronautics and astronautics. He also
served as a principal investigator and program manager of the NASA/Stanford relativity gyroscope experiment. The project led to
the first successful test to validate Einstein's
general theory of relativity using orbiting
gyroscopes, which were launched into space
in 2004. The researchers used GPS for precision orbit control and measurement.
Parkinson is now professor emeritus in
Stanford's aeronautics and astronautics
department and a researcher at the university's W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Lab.
He has written more than 50 papers on
guidance, navigation, and control, and he
was coeditor of the two-volume book Global
Positioning System Theory and Applications.
A member of the National Academy of
Engineering, he received the 2016 Marconi
MAR CH 2018 TH E IN STITUTE
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