School of Engineering
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Edward C. Wells Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus
BioProfessor Bradford Parkinson was the Chief Architect for GPS, and led the original advocacy for the system in 1973 as an Air Force Colonel. Gaining approval, he became the first Director of the GPS Joint Program Office and led the original development of spacecraft, Master Control Station and 8 types of User Equipment. He continued leadership of the Program through the extensive test validation Program, including being the Launch Commander for the first GPS satellite launches. This original deployment of GPS demonstrated comfortable margins against all PNT (Positioning, Navigation, and Timing) requirements.
Earlier in his career, he was a key developer of a modernized AC-130 Gunship, introduction of which included 160 hours of combat missions. He was an instructor at the USAF Test Pilot School. In addition he led the Department of Astronautics and Computer Science at the US Air Force Academy. He retired from the US Air Force as a Colonel.
He was appointed a Professor at Stanford University in 1984, after six years of experience in industry. At Stanford University, he led the development of many innovative applications of GPS, including:
1.Commercial aircraft (Boeing 737) blind landing using GPS alone,
2.Fully automatic GPS control of Farm Tractors on a rough field to an accuracy of 2 inches,
3.Pioneering the augmentation to GPS (WAAS) that allows any user to achieve accuracies of 2 feet and very high levels of integrity assurance.
He has been the CEO of two companies, and serves on many boards. He is the editor/author of the AIAA Award winning 2 Volumes: “GPS Theory and Applications” and is author or coauthor of over 80 technical papers.
Among his many awards is the Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering, considered by some to be the “Engineering Nobel”.
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
BioDr. Marco Pavone is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where he also holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Electrical Engineering, in the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, and in the Information Systems Laboratory. He is a Research Affiliate at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. Before joining Stanford, he was a Research Technologist within the Robotics Section at JPL. He received a Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. Dr. Pavone’s areas of expertise lie in the fields of controls and robotics.
Dr. Pavone is a recipient of a NASA Early Career Faculty award, a Hellman Faculty Scholar Award, and was named NASA NIAC Fellow in 2011. At JPL, Dr. Pavone worked on the end-to-end optimization of the mission architecture for the Mars sample return mission. He has designed control algorithms for formation flying that have been successfully tested on board the International Space Station.
Dr. Pavone is the Director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory (ASL). The goal of ASL is the development of methodologies for the analysis, design, and control of autonomous systems, with a particular emphasis on large-scale robotic networks and autonomous aerospace vehicles. The lab combines expertise from control theory, robotics, optimization, and operations research to develop the theoretical foundations for networked autonomous systems operating in uncertain, rapidly-changing, and potentially adversarial environments. Theoretical insights are then used to devise practical, computationally-efficient, and provably-correct algorithms for field deployment. Applications include robotic transportation networks, sensor networks, agile control of spacecraft during proximity operations, and mobility platforms for extreme planetary environments. Collaborations with NASA centers are a key component of the research portfolio.
Ph.D. Student in Aeronautics and Astronautics, admitted Autumn 2014
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAdrien is currently working on using UAVs to rapidly localize sources of GPS interference as well as successfully navigate in GPS denied environments.
R. Eric Phelts
Engr Res Assoc, Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioR. Eric Phelts is a research engineer in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. His research involves signal monitoring techniques and analysis for SBAS, GBAS, and ARAIM.
J David Powell
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus
1960 - B.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.I.T.
1966 - M.S. Aeronautics & Astronautics, Stanford
1970 - Ph.D. Aeronautics & Astronautics, Stanford
1960-1961 - Engine Design and Testing Engineer at Outboard Marine Corp.
1961-1967 – Engineer at Lockheed in the field of Aerospace Guidance and Control
1967-1968 – Engineer at Analytical Mechanics Associates
1968-1970 – Engineer, Systems Control, Inc. Parameter ID of aircraft models from flight data, automatic generation of approach paths for Air Traffic Control. Attended Stanford University specializing in control systems.
1971 – 1998 – Member of the Stanford Faculty in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. His research has included spacecraft pointing, space tether dynamics and control, internal combustion engine control, the design of aerospace digital flight control systems, GPS-based attitude determination augmented with inertial sensors, and the use of GPS for air and land vehicle surveillance and navigation. He taught courses in aerospace control including radio and inertial navigation, optimization and digital implementations and is a coauthor of two of the leading control textbooks. He is also an author or coauthor on over 100 papers.
1998 – present – Emeritus faculty carrying out research in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford Univ. Recent focus of research is the use of GPS-based attitude determination augmented with inertial sensors, applications of the FAA’s WAAS for enhanced pilot displays, flight inspection of aircraft landing systems, and the use of WAAS and new displays to enable closer spacing of parallel runways.
AIAA (Fellow), ASME (Fellow), SAE, IEEE, ION
CONSULTANT TO: (over past several years)
Engine Control and Monitoring
Pratt and Whitney (Technical Advisory Committee)
OTHER RECENT ACTIVITIES
Co-Founder, CEO, and Director of GyroSat Corp. 1999 – 2000
Director of Sequoia Instruments, 2001 – 2005
Aircraft owner and licensed instrument pilot
National Research Council Panel member for the review of NASA airspace activities, 2003
Board of Directors, Mechanics Bank, Richmond, CA., 2003 – 2015
Board of Directors, ExactBid, Inc. 2014-present.