2010 Fellow

Presented to: Mr. John W. Lavrakas

Citation: For contributions to the development of GPS Control Segment and user applications, and for service to The Institute of Navigation.


John Lavrakas's 34 year career as a technical professional has been dominated by GPS, on which he has focused over the past 29 years. In his first 15 years in GPS, he participated in the development of the first Operational Control Segment (OCS) for GPS, developed military GPS receiver equipment for range applications, and led the engineering group in software maintenance at the GPS OCS in Colorado. John's experience includes systems engineering, design, programming, and testing of GPS receiver equipment, differential GPS, automatic vehicle location system development, satellite control software, GPS ground transmitters, and mission planning and analysis software.

He was a member of the first team to stand up the GPS Operations Center at Schriever AFB, and served as its first operations support director (1999-2005), and as a crew member during 24 hour surge support for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing direct support to warfighters in the theater. John was a part of the GPS Integrity Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (IFMEA) team, and co-developer of the GPS Integrity Anomaly Database, providing a historical record of GPS service anomalies. He co-established the GPS Interagency Forum for Operational Requirements (IFOR) with Air Force Space Command and the Department of Transportation, authoring its charter and serving as IFOR secretariat.

John has had the unusual distinction of serving both as president of the ION and chair of the satellite division. Before rising to these top positions, he held a variety of other offices: executive VP, western region VP (twice), space representative, Rocky Mountain section chair, and satellite division secretary. He received the ION Distinguished Service Award in 2008.

He has authored or co-authored about 25 papers on GPS, which were presented at ION meetings and published in GPS World and GPS Solutions. He received in 1996 the Best Paper Award sponsored by The GPS International Association.

John W. Lavrakas received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and the Claremont Graduate School, respectively. He has also pursued post-graduate study in electrical engineering at the University of Colorado.