Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering - GPS pioneers lauded


Executive Member
Jul 5, 2009

Bradford Parkinsons sometimes referred to as the "father of GPS". The retired United States Air Force Colonel led the development of the system we know today.

He pulled together experts over Labor Day weekend, 1973, to brainstorm the project, producing a 7-page report that was then implemented with initial funding of $200m.

Dr Parkinson recruited James Spilker Jr, who designed the signal that's transmitted by the satellites.

Hugo Freuhauf is credited with miniaturising laboratory atomic clocks so they could be carried aboard a spacecraft. These small, super-accurate timepieces are at the heart of the system.

And Richard Schwartz takes a share in the prize for the radiation-hardened design of the satellites, which at the start of the project were made by Rockwell International.
Everyone know what GPS is, few people know the names of the inventors.