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Ivan Getting - Founder of GPS Dies

Ivan A. Getting, inventor of GPS, died yesterday aged 91. Ivan A. Getting, a Cold War scientist who conceived the Global Positioning Satellite system that enables smart bombs, hikers and motorists to reach their destinations with pinpoint accuracy, has died at 91.

Getting, founding president of the military research-and-development company The Aerospace Corp., died Oct. 11 at his home in Coronado, the company said Friday. The physicist is best known for envisioning a system that would use multiple satellite transmitters, coupled with extremely precise clocks, to pinpoint with unparalleled accuracy locations anywhere on Earth. He later became an advocate of building such a complex system once it was shown to work, helping fight back multiple Pentagon efforts to cancel the program. In 1978, the US Defense Department launched the first of a constellation of satellites that today make up the backbone of GPS, as the system is commonly known. It has been fully operational for a decade and has been used by everyone from fishermen to search crews working to recover fragments of the space shuttle Columbia. "It was originally developed for military use, but it's extraordinary how its application has spread all over," Getting told The San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this year. Getting is generally considered the visionary behind GPS, and Stanford University's Bradford Parkinson the man who helped implement the system.

Posted on Monday, October 20 @ 04:05:16 UTC by Darren Griffin

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