2008 Kepler Award

Presented to: Mr. Phillip W. Ward

Citation: For his pioneering work in GPS receiver development and continued teaching, consulting and publishing aimed at furthering the utility and advancement of both commercial and military applications of the Global Positioning System.


Phillip W. Ward is a pioneer in the design and development of GPS receivers. He has been active in the field of navigation since 1958 and with GPS receiver design since 1976. He developed the first commercial GPS receiver, the Texas Instrument's TI 4100. He also served as the lead systems engineer on several of TI's advanced GPS receiver designs. He has been awarded multiple patents, one of which was for the multiplexing technique employed in the TI 4100 GPS receiver. His patents include various aspects of receiver design and a patent on a single receiver attitude determination technique. His most recent patent application involves an unambiguous detection scheme for the new MBOC modulation codes on GNSS systems.

Ward has been active in passing on his GPS knowledge by teaching, consulting and publishing. He is the author of more than 30 papers on GPS topics and has made multiple presentations at ION conferences and IEEE PLANS conferences. He teaches seminars on "Advanced GPS Receiver Design" and "GPS Receiver Jamming Mitigation Design Techniques" for NavtechGPS Seminars. He is president of Navward GPS Consulting which he founded in 1991. He was the invited author of "Navigation Satellites" for the Academic Press Encyclopedia of Physical Sciences published in 1993. He is a coauthor of the book, Understanding GPS: Principles and Applications, edited by Elliott D. Kaplan and published by Artech House Publishers in 1996. He also co-authored the second edition by the same title and publisher, co-edited by Christopher J. Hegarty and Elliott D. Kaplan, which was released in 2005. Ward has also served as a member of the GPS Independent Review Team which was chartered to evaluate the GPS system and suggest improvements.

Ward served with distinction from 2001 to 1Q 2002 as the ION's first Congressional Fellow in the office of Senator James M. Inhofe (R-OK), a high ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. While in this position Phil helped the GPS community establish a relationship with Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), who co-chaired the Congressional Electronic Warfare Working Group, and who became actively involved in the countermeasures to the threat of both civil and military GPS denial. Ward was the first science fellow working for Sen. Inhofe, and as a measure of his success was asked by the senator to help find a science fellow to replace him when he left. In addition to serving as the first ION Congressional Fellow, Ward previously served as the President of the ION (1992-1993) and as Chair of the Satellite Division (1994-1996). He received the ION's Thurlow award in 1989 as a result of his development of the TI 4100 GPS receiver which was the first receiver widely used in the survey industry. He is a Fellow in the ION and is also a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Ward received his B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1958. He obtained an M.S.E.E. degree from Southern Methodist University in 1965. He also took postgraduate courses in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1970.