2004 Fellow

Presented to: Dr. Penina Axelrad

Citation: For her continuing contributions to research and graduate and undergraduate education in the fields of dynamics and systems, aerospace electronics and communications, and GPS technology.


Dr. Penina Axelrad is an associate professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences with the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since 1985, Dr. Axelrad has been active in research on GPS technology and applications for space and airborne navigation, publishing 22 technical papers and over 60 conference papers, and serving as co-editor of an AIAA book on GPS.

Dr. Axelrad directly supervises a group of four to eight graduate students and provides technical advice to a larger group of students through joint research projects with colleagues. She has served as the primary dissertation advisor for 11 graduating doctoral students during the past 11 years.

Students from her research group have successfully moved on to positions of responsibility within the DoD, NASA, industry, and other universities. Her teaching contributions include the development of a graduate laboratory course in GPS technology and an undergraduate lab course on aerospace electronics and communications. She was one of the leaders of a major undergraduate curriculum revision within the Aerospace Engineering Department with the goal of improving student education through increased hands-on learning experiences. She has given numerous seminars on GPS for both scientific and non-technical audiences and is actively involved in outreach programs for K-12 students.

Dr. Axelrad received her S.B. and S.M. from MIT in 1985 and 1986, respectively, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1991. Her current research interests include technology and algorithms for GPS-based navigation of spacecraft in LEO and HEO, multipath characterization and correction, and remote sensing using GPS-based bistatic radar. Dr. Axelrad has been an active member of the Institute of Navigation since 1986, serving in numerous positions including space representative, ION GPS program chair, associate editor ofNAVIGATION, Satellite Division chair, and currently as ION executive vice president. She is also an associate fellow of the AIAA, a senior member of IEEE, and a member of Sigma Xi. Her contributions to the GPS field have been recognized by the 1996 Lawrence Sperry Award from the AIAA and the 2003 Tycho Brahe Award from the ION .