Richard Easton recently contributed a guest post for the Lidar News “In the Scan” blog. In his post, Richard reviews the history of GPS and highlights several common myths surrounding the technology, as well as widespread misinformation about its origin. Richard continues to pursue documentary evidence that will shed additional light on the early days of GPS.
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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.
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Richard Easton, co-author of GPS Declassified: From Smart Bombs to Smartphones, to discuss the development of GPS and its role in the military, intelligence, and civilian domains. Easton’s father, Roger, led the Space Applications Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory from the Vanguard Satellite era to the early days of GPS development. Listen to the entire podcast.
Richard Easton will present a talk, “Time Synchronization and the Origins of GPS,” at the forthcoming conference, The Science of Time, June 5-9, 2016, hosted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge.
Richard is scheduled to speak Wednesday, June 8, at 10:45. His talk will focus on how the need to synchronize clocks at widely separated satellite tracking stations sparked the idea of placing highly accurate clocks, and eventually atomic frequency standards, aboard satellites. This led directly to the Global Positioning System, which enabled worldwide time synchronization.
On June 30, 2015, Richard joined a panel discussion on the Milt Rosenberg Show to talk about the history and future of space exploration.
Other guests were Bill Melberg, a former aviation executive and now editor of AmericasUncommonsense.com, professional speaker and frequent writer on aerospace topics, and Dr. Paul Spudis, an astrogeologist and moon expert who is senior staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas.
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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