2002 Tycho Brahe Award

Presented to: Dr. Penina Axelrad

Citation: For her contributions to the science of space navigation, guidance, and control.


Dr. Penina Axelrad is an associate professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences (ASEN) with the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado. Dr. Axelrad has been involved in GPS research since 1985, including topics in time transfer, aircraft, marine, space and remote sensing applications of GPS.

Her master's thesis research, conducted at Hughes Space and Communications Group, focused on real-time orbit determination and relative navigation of vehicles in near-earth orbits. From 1986 to 1990, Dr. Axelrad was a graduate student and research assistant for Prof. Bradford Parkinson at Stanford University. Her doctoral dissertation research addressed the application of GPS to closed-loop spacecraft orbit adjustment of the Stanford Relativity Gyroscope Experiment (GP-B). After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Axelrad joined the technical staff at Stanford Telecommunications in Santa Clara, Calif., where she worked on the development of GPS time transfer systems, kinematic GPS algorithms, integrated GPS/INS and a variety of other programs. At that time, she also taught two courses at Stanford as an instructor. Dr. Axelrad has also been an instructor for Navtech Seminars since 1991.

In 1992, Dr. Axelrad joined the faculty in ASEN as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1999. She has been a leader within the Aerospace Department and is active in advising students, as well as teaching and doing research.

Dr. Axelrad received her Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, and her S.B. and S.M. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been active in the ION®, serving as chair of the Satellite Division, general chair of ION GPS 1997, technical program chair for ION GPS 1996, Secretary of the Satellite Division, Western Region Vice President, and as an associate editor of NAVIGATION.

In 1996, Dr. Axelrad was awarded the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award for her contributions in GPS.