Roger L. Easton, pictured at left, is considered to be the pioneer of modern day GPS. As testament to his contribution to the technology is his induction to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He began his work at the Naval Research Laboratory in 1943. He also helped with the MINITRACK system which was the very first satellite tracking technology.
Taking what he had learned from these earlier projects he developed what he called the TIMATION, short for “time navigation”, which was used in the launch of several satellites in the 60s and 70s. The final satellite with TIMATION was the first to successfully transmit GPS signals back from orbit. Some of the technologies that were developed with this project, namely relativistic offset correction, is still used with today’s GPS satellites.
Among many other achievements he also co-wrote the Naval Research Laboratory’s Project Vanguard proposal for a U.S. satellite program in 1955. and has received the National Medal of Technology for his “extensive pioneering achievements in spacecraft tracking, navigation and timing technology that led to the development of the NAVSTAR-Global Positioning System (GPS).”