2003 Fellow

Presented to: Dr. Alison Brown

Citation: For her contributions to the development of GPS technology, the fielding of the FAA’s WAAS and the modernization of GPS as well as for outstanding service to the Institute of Navigation’s Satellite Division.


Dr. Alison Brown is the founder, president and chief executive officer of NAVSYS Corporation, which specializes in developing next generation Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. From 1981 to 1986, prior to her work at NAVSYS, Dr. Brown was a member of the technical staff at Litton Aero Products and Guidance and Control Systems where she developed GPS receiver and strapdown inertial navigation systems. Dr. Brown's accomplishments are many and include the following: leading the original RTCA Integrity Working Group that developed the concept of Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring and the use of a GPS integrity network and geostationary augmentation system, which led to the development of the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS); pioneering the development of Wide Area Differential GPS; fielding the first GPS cellular emergency location system under the FHWA/CDOT "Mayday" program; developing the FAA WAAS Ground Uplink Station equipment and algorithms used to broadcast a "bent-pipe" GPS augmentation signal; and developing a digital beam-steering, software reprogramable GPS receiver for high accuracy commercial and military applications.

Dr. Brown is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the U.S. Air Force, the Interagency GPS Executive Board Independent Advisory Team, and serves on the GPS World editorial advisory board. She was a member of the GPS-3 Independent Review Team from 1999 to 2002, and was the first program chair of the ION's GPS annual conference.

Dr. Brown holds five patents, has chaired numerous conferences and technical sessions on GPS, and has published more than 100 technical papers.

Dr. Brown has a Ph.D. in mechanics, aerospace, and nuclear engineering from UCLA (1985), an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.A. and B.A. in engineering from Cambridge University. She is a Scholar of Sidney Sussex College, a Draper Fellow, a Dupont Scholar, and was awarded the Sir George Nelson prize for Applied Mechanics at Cambridge University.