WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 -- Ivan A. Getting and Bradford W. Parkinson will share the 2003 Charles Stark Draper Prize for their individual efforts toward the development of the global positioning system (GPS).
The $500,000 award by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recognizes technological achievements that have affected millions of people's lives throughout the world.
"Many of engineering's great achievements become so much a part of our lives that they are taken for granted. I think that, without question, the global positioning system is destined for this distinction," said Wm. A. Wulf, president, National Academy of Engineering. "It is an achievement that deservedly joins the ranks of previous Draper Prize honors, such as the semiconductor microchip, the jet engine, satellite technology, fiber optics and the Internet."
Getting, who is president emeritus of The Aerospace Corp., "in the 1950s envisioned a system that would use satellite transmitters to pinpoint with extreme accuracy locations anywhere on Earth," the NAE said. "After it was shown that GPS could work, Getting became a tireless advocate for making sure the complex system was actually built."
Parkinson was Department of Defense program director for the original definition of the GPS system architecture, as well as for its engineering, development, demonstration and implementation. He continues to work on GPS at Stanford University, honing its accuracy and using it to control vehicles such as helicopters, farm tractors and spacecraft.
For more information, visit: www.nae