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Bradford W. Parkinson

AKA Bradford Wells Parkinson

Born: 16-Feb-1935
Birthplace: Madison, WI

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Engineer, Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Global Positioning System

Military service: US Air Force (1957-78, to Colonel)

In 1973, Bradford W. Parkinson was appointed program director for the US Department of Defense's joint military program to coordinate advanced navigation systems being developed separately by the Navy, Air Force, and other services. He oversaw development of the Global Positioning System (GPS), a coordinated array of 24 satellites that broadcast and receive signals from ground stations and mobile receivers, allowing military targeting to within ten meters. The actual invention of GPS is usually credited to Roger Easton or Ivan Getting.

Father: Herbert Parkinson
Wife: Virginia Parkinson ("Ginny")

    High School: Breck School, Minneapolis, MN (1952)
    University: BS Engineering, US Naval Academy (1957)
    University: MS Aeronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1961)
    University: PhD Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University (1966)
    Teacher: Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University (1978-79)
    Teacher: Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University (1984-89)
    Professor: Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University (1989-2002)

    ASME Medal 2004
    Charles Stark Draper Prize 2003 (with Ivan Getting)
    National Inventors Hall of Fame 2004
    Magellanic Premium (1997, with [[Roger Easton]])
    Bronze Star 1969
    Air Medal (two citations)
    National Academy of Engineering
    Royal Institute of Navigation
    The Aerospace Corporation Board iof Directors (1997-)
    Intermetrics Vice President (1980-84)
    Rockwell Automation Vice President of Space Systems Group (1979-84)

Author of books:
An Approach Guidance System for Side-Firing Tactical Aircraft (1970, with Edward J. Bauman and Jack C. Henry)
The Global Positioning System: Theory and Applications (1996, with James J. Spilker)


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