2016 Weems Award

Presented to: Charles Phillip Bruner

Citation: For nearly five decades of contributions to the advancement of navigation including leadership of the team that developed the LN-90 series of strapdown inertial navigators.

2016 Weems Award Charles Phillip Bruner

Mr. Charles Phillip Bruner’s navigation career has spanned nearly five decades. As a summer intern in 1968, Mr. Bruner was assigned to the Inertial Lab at McDonnell Douglas, where he so impressed the management that when it was time for him to go back to school he was assigned to second shift so that he could continue working while going to school full time. During this time he assisted in the integration of the Litton LN- 12 and Ferranti inertial navigation systems into the F-4 Phantoms. Following the completion of his BSEE in 1971, McDonnell Douglas sent him back to Edwards AFB to support the category I and II flight-testing of the F-15. Over three years, more than two thousand test flights were conducted with the Litton LN-31 INS.

Since the early 1990s, Mr. Bruner’s work has increasingly focused on the use of GPS in and with military inertial systems. This work included the development of the first generation of Embedded GPS Inertial systems at Litton and an enhanced GPS tracking technique to meet the extremely high dynamic requirements of the DARPA GGP program, for which he was subsequently awarded a patent for this invention.

In the mid-to-late 1990s, Mr. Bruner helped to pioneer the use of high-precision differential INS/GPS carrierphase relative positioning, initially as a flight-test truth reference to evaluate military inertial/GPS navigators, and later in operationally fielded systems using relative carrier phase interferometry in military inertial/GPS navigators. Mr. Bruner was chief engineer for the team that developed and demonstrated a relative Inertial/GPS navigation system for the U.S. Air Force Automatic Aerial Refueling program completing over 50 flights of realtime relative positioning capability in 2007.

In 2009, Mr. Bruner began Northrop’s Scholar in Resident program, which hosts university professors on campus to teach navigation related courses to employees while participating in division internal research. For this effort Mr. Bruner was awarded the Division’s Presidential Leadership Award. Mr. Bruner received his BSEE from Southern Illinois University. Captain P.V.H. Weems Award For continuing contributions to the art and science of navigation.