2006 Weems Award

Presented to: Marvin B. May

Citation: For enduring accomplishments in geophysical navigation, satellite navigation, navigation education and service to the navigation community.


Marvin B. May has been chief scientist and manager of navigation education at Pennsylvania State University's Navigation Research and Development Center, Warminster, Pa., since 1996. His contributions lie in the areas of geophysical navigation, satellite navigation, navigation education, and service to the navigation community. In geophysical navigation, May was the project engineer for pioneering at sea demonstrations with submersible gravimeters and magnetometers. He developed advanced algorithms for the incorporation of geophysical data into navigation systems. May formulated the Geophysical Low Observable Bathymetric Enhancement program for attack submarine which has transitioned to the Fleet. He formulated the Ship's Augmented Gravity Enhancement NGA program.

From 1985 to 1996, he was the chief analyst of the GPS division at the NAVAIRDEVCEN. He was a member of a team that integrated and tested most of the original U.S. Navy platforms' GPS installations. Among the technical accomplishments under May's leadership were the first demonstration of carrier phase integer ambiguity resolution capability with a first generation GPS simulator. Another "first" was the development of a laboratory test capability (Simulated Inertial GPS Navigation Laboratory, or SIGNaL) for high fidelity testing of the first generation of embedded GPS-INS in 1994. He has subsequently led NAVWAR and modernization projects sponsored by the Navy, NSA and ONR.

He helped re-establish the Greater Philadelphia Section of the ION and has served as a treasurer and chairperson for ten years. He has been an ION Marine Navigation Representative and a session chair for numerous symposiums. Since 1998, he has served as the ION's one and only historian. May also serves as the editor of the newly created ION virtual museum.

May formulated a master's degree program in navigation at Wilkes University in 1990 and has taught navigation courses in geophysical, inertial, satellite, and history. He teaches corporate, government, and accredited graduate navigation courses for PSU. May has a B.S.E.E. from CCNY, an M.S.E.E. from NYU and doctoral courses from Brooklyn Polytechnic and is a professional engineer. He has written over 30 published papers and numerous classified reports.