Leaders recognized at 2018 GPS World Awards Dinner

October 9, 2018  - By
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Four innovators in the fields of satellites, signals, services and products accepted Leadership Awards for 2018 from this magazine at the GPS World Leadership Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Sept. 27 in Miami. Their remarks at the podium directed the audience of PNT industry and research community VIPs to key challenges for the future.

Satellites

Javier Benedicto, left, accept the Satellites Leadership Award on behalf of Giuliano Gatti of the European Space Agency, from Phil Froom of Rockwell Collins. (Photo: Melanie Beus)

Javier Benedicto, left, accepts the Satellites Leadership Award on behalf of Giuliano Gatti of the European Space Agency, from Phil Froom of Rockwell Collins. (Photo: Melanie Beus)

Kicking off the ceremony, Phil Froom of Rockwell Collins mentioned that “Rockwell Collins and QinetiQ [have] signed an alliance agreement  to produce a new family of high-assurance, multi-constellation GNSS receivers for professional and military use. This new family of receivers is aimed to be complementary to the current encrypted family of Rockwell Collins receivers in service across the globe, but allow the customer to select the level of capability and protection based upon operational, political or even financial needs.”

GPS World Leadership Dinner 2018 (Melanie Beus photo.)

(Photo: Melanie Beus)

Froom conferred the Satellites Award upon Giuliano Gatti of European Space Agency, for his contribution to setting up the Galileo constellation, as Space Segment Procurement Manager, from GIOVE-A through all current operational satellites, a total of 26 deployed in 7 years.

Accepting the Award on Gatti’s behalf, Javier Benedicto of ESA told the crowd about “two moments in his [Gatti’s] professional life that were very beautiful and very difficult. The beautiful moment was January 12, 2006, when the very first Galileo satellite, GIOVE-A, started transmitting the first Galileo signals.  The most difficult moment was on August 27, 2014, when we saw that Soyuz rocket deploy our satellites a few thousand kilometers before the intended orbit. We thought, how are we going to recover? Today, the satellites are working, and they will be injected into the constellation in a few months.”

[The full text of remarks by both award conferrers — Leadership Dinner sponsors Rockwell Collins, Harris and Spirent Federal — and award recipients will appear in the December issue of the magazine. Jointly with their remarks directing all in the PNT community to future challenges will appear the Directions 2019 special section: essays by the chief executive officers operating the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou constellations. Look for it!]

Signals

Joe Rolli, Harris Corporation. (Photo: Melanie Beus)

Joe Rolli, Harris Corporation. (Photo: Melanie Beus)

Joe Rolli from Harris opened by saying “I work with an amazing group in Clifton [New Jersey] that comes together, overcomes challenges, builds our [GPS III] payloads, and provides a system that everyone uses every day. I think we’ve gotten to the point where we can honestly say, almost nothing works without GPS.”

“The challenge that I see [for the future] is  to overcome the politics: where do you draw the line between doing what’s right for the PNT solution for the common good and addressing your national security and your own agendas in protecting your own country.”

After further comments, he called Logan Scott of LS Consultiing to the podium to receive the 2018 Signals award. Scott has been, in the words of the person who nominated him for the award, “an advocate for improved civil GPS security, and the inventor of a new asymmetric navigation security paradigm for civil GPS signals that avoids the need for secure key storage in civil GPS receivers and thus allows for widespread adoption in applications without physical security capabilities.”

Logan Scott, LS Consulting. (Photo: Melanie Beus)

Logan Scott, LS Consulting. (Photo: Melanie Beus)

Scott spoke about the Chips-Message Robust Authentication (Chimera) for GPS Civilian Signals project, in which he was a key participant. “Chimera can offer security benefits far beyond what you see with data message-signing only.”

“Moving forward, the challenge I offer to you all is this: how can we establish the integrity and truthfulness of position and time reports both locally and remotely to other people and mechanized devices? In a world of autonomous vehicles, crowd-sourced databases and geofenced capabilities and information access, and an insecure supply chain, it is not enough to say, ‘Well, I saw it on C/A code.’ ”

Services

This award, sponsored by Spirent Federal, brought Justin Eldredge to the microphone.

Justin Eldredge, Spirent Federal (photo Melanie Beus).

Justin Eldredge, Spirent Federal (Photo: Melanie Beus).

“This year we maintain our position of being first to market with new signals, with the launch of SimMNSA. We’re currently in the final test phase of this new M-code option and it will delivering to several authorized customers by the end of the year. If M-code signals aren’t in the spectrum of testing for you, we offer products that simulate all other GNSS signals, plus a variety of other sensors.”

Eldredge introduced John Raquet, professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology. Raquet was nominated and subsequently voted as winner of the Services award for work he and his team at the Autonomy & Navigation Technology (ANT) Center developed on PNT sensors and systems utilizing almost every available source, including GPS, GNSS, inertial, vision, lidar, magnetic field, pseudolites, radar, terrain mapping, signals of opportunity, star trackers, radio ranging, 3D audio, X-ray pulsars, clocks, and more.

John Raquet, U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (Melanie Beus photo).

John Raquet, U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (Photo: Melanie Beus).

“Sometimes I called the ANT the Crazy Idea Factory. We’ve tried lots and lots of things,” said Raquet. “I think I have the best job in the world, because I get to experiment with many, many things, and work with amazing people.”

“This is not the kind of community where you build something once and you’re done, you put it away. This is a growing worldwide enterprise that takes new talent to come in and fill the spots that many of the people in this room have occupied. I’m privileged to see some of the students that we’ve worked with to then go on and fill some of the gaps, really do some amazing things.”

Products

Jade Morton, who herself received a Leadership Award in 2015,  introduced the final honor of the evening.

“There’s a community of people kind of like you guys, a few of them are sitting here, who are crazy about the atmosphere. That’s their livelihood. They’re talking about how to use satellite navigation technology to monitor the atmosphere, to provide forecasting and modeling technologies. All of these effects, we [navigation engineers] have done everything we can to filter them out, to make them go away. But this company built a system to analyze the real traits that the atmosphere has imprinted on GNSS signals.”

Jean-Marie Sleewaegen from Septentrio then accepted the Products award, jointly on behalf of his colleagues Tom Willems, Andrew Simsky and Wim de Wilde. The company’s PolaRx5S receiver supports worldwide ionosphere monitoring, providing multi-frequency multi-GNSS measurements with low phase noise, high data rates, and flexible configurations, and enabling many Earth-observing applications ranging from ionospheric scintillation characterization to tectonic movements monitoring.

Wim de Wilde and Jean-Marie Sleewaegen, Septentrio, and Jade Morton, University of Colorado (Melanie Beus photo).

Wim de Wilde and Jean-Marie Sleewaegen, Septentrio, and Jade Morton, University of Colorado (Photo: Melanie Beus).

Sleewaegen said, “We continue to cherish our close ties with the research community. While most of us dream of getting rid of these error sources and these perturbations, atmospheric research scientists don’t want us to filter them out — they want to focus on them and see them in their full glory! The technology that we developed [to both mitigate and preserve the perturbations] is now at the heart of all of our receivers.”

“With the avalanche of new signals and constellations that we see — in some regions of Asia you can now see more than 60 GNSS satellites — the question is how to absorb, process and use that huge amount of data. All these questions are still not answered and will definitely keep us busy for years to come.”

The GPS World Dinner and Awards Ceremony are held annually at the time of (although separately from and independent of) the ION GNSS+ conference. Nominations for the awards come from a group of 40 industry executives and researchers. A ballot of the nominees is then circulated to a larger group of similar make-up.

The festive evening concluded, after dinner and dessert, with the Smart City Jam!, a group exercise in navigation and obstruction. Details in the December issue.

At the Smart City starting line (Melanie Beus photo).

At the Smart City starting line (Photo: Melanie Beus).

Smart City jammers in action (Melanie Beus photo).

Smart City jammers in action (Photo: Melanie Beus).

And they're off! (Melanie Beus photo)

And they’re off! (Photo: Melanie Beus)

 

 

Last gasp, struggling to finish in second (Melanie Beus photo)

Last gasp, struggling to finish in second place (Photo: Melanie Beus).

GPS World Leadership Dinner 2018. You wouldn't think that professional navigation engineers would be so enthusiastic about jamming (Melanie Beus photo).

You wouldn’t think that professional navigation engineers would be so enthusiastic about jamming (Photo: Melanie Beus).

 

GPS World Leadership Dinner 2018 Somehow, the team of Leadership Award winners (LOQUATRIO) ended up winners of the Smart City Jam! as well. Smart drivers (or jammers) (or both). (Melanie Beus photo).

Somehow, the team of Leadership Award winners (LOQUATRIO) ended up winners of the Smart City Jam! as well. Smart drivers (or jammers) (or both). (Photo: Melanie Beus).

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:


Alan Cameron is the former editor-at-large of GPS World magazine.

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