Host David Livingston recently hosted Richard Easton and Peter Wilhelm, retired director of the Naval Research Lab’s Naval Center for Space Technology, for a broad-ranging discussion about Wilhelm’s pioneering work with satellites and his involvement with the development of GPS.
Wilhelm was involved with several classified programs, and briefly discussed his work on the first spy satellite under a program called GRAB, that was recently declassified. He also talked about how his career led him to meet people like Werner Von Braun and Elon Musk.
Don’t miss this conversation with a true satellite pioneer.
The History Hack podcast recently interviewed Richard, who spoke about his father’s role in the early space race and the creation of GPS. The discussion also touches on the controversy that remains over the so-called “Lonely Halls Meeting” in 1973, the year the Pentagon merged Navy and Air Force satellite navigation programs to create the dual-use system that today functions as a global public utility. Listen to the podcast here.
Richard kicked off the new year with an appearance on TOCRadio’s Podcast Episode 19. In a wide-ranging interview, hosts Wyatt Harper and Matt Schoenfeldt queried him about the historical development of GPS and the arrival of GPS III satellites, which are finally launching after years of delays. Richard debunked the common myth that President Ronald Reagan declassified GPS for its first civilian use, discussed how GPS impacted the Persian Gulf War, summarized ongoing challenges related to spoofing and jamming, and raised the policy issue posed by whether new military receivers should incorporate other GNSS signals.
TOCRadio is a military-themed podcast produced by LTC Matt Schoenfeldt and CPT Wyatt Harper.
“There are abundant technical details about the design and operation of the system, but the book is entirely accessible to the intelligent layman….This book is an essential history of how this technology came to be, how it works, and where it may be going in the future.”
From Harrison to GPS – This lecture traces the development of navigation from the 18th century longitude problem to the invention of the Global Positioning System. Easton will describe the two major proposed solutions to the longitude problem: accurate clocks as developed by John Harrison and observations of celestial objects such as lunars and the Jovian moons. He will then trace the history of satellite navigation proposals culminating in GPS which combines the two 18th century proposals, putting accurate synchronized clocks in satellites which are artificial celestial objects.
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Listen as longtime Chicago radio host Milt Rosenberg talks with Richard in a wide-ranging interview that spans the early days of GPS, the role that his father, Roger Easton, played in its development, and the future of the technology.
Following the death of Roger L. Easton on May 8, the Naval Research Laboratory and numerous media outlets have published tributes to his life as a scientist and inventor. Follow the links below to read a selection of these stories:
Roger L. Easton, former head of the Space Applications Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory, a few years before he retired in 1980. (Naval Research Laboratory)
Following the death of his father, Roger Easton, Richard talked with Dr. David Livingston, host of The Space Show, about his father’s groundbreaking work with satellites and accurate clocks, leading to the development of the Timation satellite navigation system and ultimately GPS. Listen to the podcast here.