2012 Fellow

Presented to: Patricia Doherty

Citation: For contributions to radio wave propagation through the ionosphere and exemplary service to The Institute of Navigation.


Patricia "Pat" Doherty has been an active researcher in the area of radio wave propagation for the past 20 years, focusing particularly on ionospheric effects in satellite-based navigation. She has supported and led ionospheric research in support of Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS), of which the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is an example. She serves as the co-chair of the International SBAS Working Group. She has authored or co-authored over 50 technical papers and reports based on her research, many of which she has presented at various ION meetings. She is a co-recipient of the ION's Burka Award (1995) for outstanding achievement in the preparation of a technical paper in NAVIGATION which contributed to the advancement of navigation and space guidance.

Pat has been instrumental in drawing the ION into a larger mission of Positioning, Navigation, and Time (PNT) education worldwide. Pat was instrumental in the organization, realization and success of the Institute's ION GNSS 2011 tutorial program. For the past three years she has also lead an initiative to help developing countries derive social and economic benefits from the satellite-based technology of PNT. She has organized and chaired two three-week-long training sessions over the past three years, with more to come, in which a dozen prominent ION members have taught and interacted with teams of professors and scientists from African universities. Because of these outreach efforts, sustainable developments have been made in Africa and numerous academic programs are operational or in the process of development. GPS receivers have been installed in many universities and scientists and students are using the knowledge provided from the workshops and the infrastructure to develop masters and Ph.D. research topics. The scientific community is now seeing the first ionospheric measurements from Africa, a region that has been previously void of information. Perhaps most importantly, these activities have resulted in a general awareness of GPS by local governments and universities in Africa with the hope that GNSS applications will eventually be used to increase food security, manage natural resources, provide efficient emergency location services, improve surveying and mapping, and provide greater precision and safety in land, water, and air navigation systems.

Pat has also served in numerous volunteer offices in the Institute including the ION's Executive Committee, Council, chair of the New England Section, the Satellite Division Executive Committee and as program and general chair of the ION GNSS meeting (2010 and 2011, respectively). She is currently executive vice president of the Institute.