About the Institute of Navigation

The Institute of Navigation (ION) is a not-for-profit organization advancing Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT). ION’s international membership is drawn from many sources including professional navigators, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, astronomers, cartographers, photogrammetrists, meteorologists, educators, geodesists, surveyors, general aviation and airline pilots, mariners and anyone interested in position-determining systems. Corporate members include corporations, civil and military government agencies, private scientific and technical institutions, universities and training academies, and consulting firms.


Membership benefits include a subscription to peer reviewed NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation (indexed by Thomson Reuters); subscription to the quarterly ION Newsletter; and access to an online database of over 19,500 PNT-related technical papers.

ION International Technical Meetings

These technical meetings offer you and your colleagues the opportunity to exchange technological information on the various navigation and positioning systems. The Institute currently offers the following technical meetings:

  • ION GNSS+ Meeting (Sponsored by the ION Satellite Division)
  • International Technical Meeting (ITM)
  • Joint Navigation Conference (Sponsored by the ION Military Division)
  • Pacific PNT
  • IEEE/ION Position Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS) 
  • Precise Time and Time Interval Meeting (PTTI)

These conferences provide a chance to present technical papers and discuss new findings with industry peers. The meetings are an opportunity to meet new people and renew old acquaintances.

ION Sections

Regional Sections: currently the ION has active sections across the U.S. and Canada. If you are interested in forming a section in your area, please contact the ION National Office.


The ION is well known for its prestigious quarterly journal, NAVIGATION. The journal publishes original, peer-reviewed articles on all areas related to the science and technology of air, sea, land and space navigation, including estimation of position, velocity, attitude, and time, and the technologies that support the determination of these quantities. Supporting technologies include navigation aids and instrumentation, algorithms and methods, error and integrity analysis, signal processing, biological navigation systems, surveying and geodesy. Editorial services for the journal are provided by professionals in government, industry, and academia.

The ION publishes CD-ROM Proceedings from each ION conference. These proceedings contain each paper presented at the conference and provide a valuable resource for industry professionals.

Another popular series of publications are the Monographs of the Global Positioning System, better known as the "GPS Red Books".

Awards Program

The Institute sponsors several major annual awards

In addition to the major awards, the ION sponsors student awards for navigation excellence. Cash awards are available to outstanding students of navigation selected by the faculty of recognized academies.

ION Council

The Council of the Institute acts as its board of directors. Council members are elected by the membership. Day-to-day operations of the Institute are conducted by the national office staff, at the national headquarters of the ION in Manassas, Virginia.

Satellite Division

The purpose of the Satellite Division is to encourage the development, operation, and use of navigation and position determination systems incorporating satellite based elements. The Satellite Division sponsors two awards presented each year. The Johannes Kepler Award honors individuals for sustained and significant contributions to the development of satellite navigation. The Bradford W. Parkinson Award recognizes outstanding graduate students in the field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

Military Division

The purpose of the Military Division is to further the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) capabilities of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by sponsoring, organizing and directing conferences for government, industry, and academia.