2004 Fellow

Presented to: Mr. Sterling R. Anderson (Posthumous)

Citation: For his recognized contributions and expertise to the field of VOR Guidance Systems.

Mr. Sterling R. Anderson was chief of the Transmitter and Antenna Branch at the Civil Aeronautics Administration Technical Development and Evaluation Center from 1942 to 1959. During this time period, he was the key engineer in the development of the CAA's conventional VOR and its improvements, and was responsible for the design, development and successful testing of the Compatible DVOR. Although he was not the original inventor of the VOR or Doppler VOR concepts, his engineering know-how made it possible for these systems to be practical and rapidly deployed as the worldwide standard for air navigation.

Mr. Anderson was a main contributor to the design and testing of the original VOR. He invented the modulation eliminator for the transmitter signal input to the goniometers. This was the original Five-Loop VOR antenna system that was deployed in the 1950s. Mr. Anderson also did significant mathematical analysis in deriving the VOR multipath error for siting considerations and polarization error equations for antenna design that were used to enhance the accuracy of the VOR. He was the main technical contributor to the design, development, and testing of the Four Loop VOR Antenna that significantly reduces the cone of no coverage at the top of the station and the polarization error.

Mr. Anderson together with Mr. Robert Flint designed, developed, and tested the CAA's Compatible DVOR. The DVOR is deployed at major airports. All of this work was done in 1958. The compatibility feature is that a receiver designed for conventional VOR can use the DVOR transmission. The DVOR mitigates multipath error. Additionally, Mr. Anderson demonstrated mathematically the compatibility feature of the CAA system as well as the degree of multipath rejection.

From 1960 until his untimely death in 1975, Mr. Anderson was based at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a branch chief. During that time period, his interest was in further improvement of the VOR. He formulated a number of concepts for a "Precision VOR" that were never implemented. Almost from his first involvement with the VOR, he was recognized as the leading expert VOR engineer in both design and analysis.