2003 Weems Award

Presented to: Mr. Karl L. Kovach

Citation: For extensive and continuous contributions to the development, operation, and utilization of GPS for the benefit of all users, military and civilian.


Mr. Karl L. Kovach is a technical director with ARINC Engineering Services, LLC, in El Segundo, Calif. He has over 25 years in various aspects of the GPS program, including three years as the Air Force Officer-in-Charge of the GPS Control Segment when it was at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

He helped develop the original ICD-GPS-200 for unclassified aspects of the GPS signal-in-space and ICD-GPS-203 for SA/A-S aspects. He conceived and developed the Notice Advisory to Navstar User as the GPS equivalent to a NOTAM and invented and guided ARINC's development of the GPS System Effectiveness Model (SEM) family of computer prediction programs for GPS performance prediction.

Mr. Kovach performed the first comprehensive integrity failure mode and effects analysis (IFMEA) for GPS. He also was a member of the team that conducted the second IFMEA. These two studies resulted in the 10-4/hr specification for the inherent integrity of the GPS signal-in-space, which is at the heart of the receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) algorithms. As an active member of RTCA SC-159 WG2C, Mr. Kovach has assisted in performing the analyses of hybrid GPS/INS algorithms for detecting GPS integrity anomalies.

Mr. Kovach created and oversaw implementation of the SatZap procedure, which is now the standard method used by the OCS for rapidly taking a satellite off-line for potential integrity failures and developed and tested RAIM-type algorithms for all-in-view Precise Positioning Service (PPS) receivers, as well as existing five-channel receivers. He also has spearheaded the DoD's efforts to bring the new generation of all-in-view PPS receivers into integrity-related compliance with civil aviation standards and to create an infrastructure that will allow modern PPS receivers to be formally certified for safety-of-flight operations in civil-controlled airspace.

Currently, he has been involved with the development of the new GPS signals: M-code, the second civil signal at L2, and the L5 civil signal and has been leading the Improved Clock and Ephemeris effort to redesign the GPS navigation message to eliminate curve fit error as a fundamental limitation to the accuracy achievable by GPS.

He received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA in 1978.