John Betz Receives Kepler Award for Global Navigation Satellite System Contributions

John Betz Receives Kepler Award for Global Navigation Satellite System Contributions

BEDFORD, Mass., November 1, 2013—Dr. John W. Betz, a MITRE Fellow, recently was awarded the Johannes Kepler Award by the Institute of Navigation’s (ION) Satellite Division at their annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Betz was honored for his contributions to the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal modernization and to the compatibility and interoperability of global navigation satellite systems.

“I’m pleased to see John’s distinctive work recognized,” said MITRE President and CEO Al Grasso. “This kind of technical leadership is what differentiates MITRE and provides innovative solutions to our sponsors.” Col. Bernard Gruber, Director of the GPS Directorate has said, “I can think of no one else in the past two decades, military or civilian, who has influenced this critical national asset [GPS] to the same degree as Dr. Betz.”

The Kepler Award, which recognizes individuals for significant, long-term contributions to the development of satellite navigation, is the highest honor bestowed by the ION’s Satellite Division.

Betz contributed to the international interoperability and compatibility efforts leading to the design of the GPS “L1C” civil signal. His Binary Offset Carrier (BOC) technique is used for the GPS M-code signal, and adopted by satellite navigation systems developed by Russia, Europe, China, Japan, and India.

He is a key contributor to ongoing technical discussions between the U.S. and other nations developing their own satellite-based navigation systems, working to improve mutual compatibility and interoperability. Betz also served as chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, leading 52 nationally recognized scientists and engineers providing technology advice to the Air Force senior leadership. He is also a member of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Advisory Board, a Presidential advisory committee.  

For his role in the United States/European Union negotiations that established compatibility and interoperability between GPS and Galileo in 2004, he received the U.S. State Department’s Superior Honor Award. Among other awards and recognitions, Betz is a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation and a Fellow of the IEEE.

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