Parkinson Presentation at Smithsonian Now Online, Exhibit Opens April 12

March 28, 2013  - By

Bradford W. Parkinson, professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Emeritus at Stanford University, discussed “GPS for Humanity — The Stealth Utility” at a special Smithsonian event Thursday, March 21. If you missed his talk, you can view it now on UStream.

Parkinson’s lecture at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., was part of the introduction of the new Smithsonian exhibition Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There, which opens April 12. Don Jewell, GPS World’s contributing editor for Defense, discusses the exhibit in his February column.

According to the Smithsonian, for centuries, nations have invested enormous resources to determine time and place for geopolitical reasons, and their research has changed people’s view of the world. Advanced technology that was once available only to the military has become commonplace in car dashboards, cell phones and a growing number of other portable devices of daily life. The Time and Navigation exhibit explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how people find their way. It is organized into five sections: Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; Inventing Satellite Navigation; and Navigation for Everyone.

Bygrave Position-Line Slide Rule.

Bygrave Position-Line Slide Rule.

Andrew Johnston (geographer, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum) gave a presentation about the exhibit at ION GNSS in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the 1970s, Parkinson was the chief architect and original program director for GPS. In his lecture, he will present the history, applications, and future of GPS and the GNSS. Central to operation of GPS is the relationship between time and navigation, and GPS will be explored in the Time and Navigation exhibit.


photo: Bradford W. Parkinson