2004 Thurlow Award

Presented to: Mr. Anthony S. Abbott

Citation: For significant contributions to the performance of navigation and all weather precision weapon delivery systems on the B-2 bomber.


Anthony S. Abbott made significant contributions to the accuracy of the B-2 navigation and weapon delivery systems over a lengthy development period (extending from 1982 to 1997) through persistent technical innovation, expertise and leadership.

Mr. Abbott's contributions to the gravity compensation theory and implementation on the B-2 Stealth Bomber achieved levels of inertial navigation accuracy that were previously unobtainable.

He guided the system design and software implementation for recording raw accelerometer outputs and gyro torquing commands to allow multiple experiments with data from a single mission.

Mr. Abbott recommended a loosely coupled integration between the GPS receiver and the astro-inertial navigation system, and then led a simulation effort to validate its performance potential. He showed that infrequent incorporation of GPS measurements could deliver the desired accuracy while imposing a small computational burden.

He played a key technical role in the combined GPS/INS-Aided Munition (GAM)/GPS-Aided Targeting System (GATS) program for the B-2. Mr. Abbott also defined requirements for the B-2 GPS receiver that included a new satellite selection process, delay of ephemeris updates during targeting, and freezing of the filter that estimates ionospheric delay. He arranged for the GPS Joint Program Office to direct the receiver manufacturer to implement these features, and added a requirement to output the ionospheric delay estimates so that the weapon receiver could avoid the need to estimate them during its short time of flight. All of these contributions were essential to GATS/GAM meeting its accuracy goal.

Mr. Abbott is a principal engineer in the Navigation Division, supporting the GPS Joint Program Office in advanced antijam technology and user equipment architecture. He performs analysis and simulations, provides guidance to Aerospace Corporation research teams and coordinates the activities of many agencies and companies across the U.S. in developing processing algorithms to make GPS systems more tolerant to jamming.

He holds a BSEE degree from the University of California, at Berkeley, and a MSEE degree from the University of Southern California in System Science. Mr. Abbott holds five U.S patents and one international patent, with two patents pending. He was a co-recipient of the Engineers' Council Merit Award for his participation in the B-2 GATS/GAM Program.