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Father of GPS passes away in New Hampshire

by GPS4US 2014-05-30 12:04

In 1955, Roger Easton helped write the proposal for the Vanguard Project, a satellite program for the
International Physical Year. He also helped design the satellite itself, and went on to design
Minitrack, which monitored objects orbiting the earth.

But the timing of the tracking station didn’t synchronize properly, so Easton inserted highly accurate
clocks in multiple satellites. He used them to determine location of someone on the ground.

In short, he was the father of GPS. Sadly, Easton died on May 8 at his home in New Hampshire, leaving
behind a legacy in navigation that is second to none.

Easton called his clock satellites Timation (Time Navigation). The Department of defense adopted
several of its features and renamed it the Global Positioning System.

Easton spent his entire 37-year career with the Naval Research Laboratory, beginning there as a
physicist in 1943.

Easton is survived by his wife of 68 years, Barbara Coulter Easton. They have a daughter and two sons.

Indeed, it’s a sad day for the GPS community.

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