2017 Fellow

Presented to: Dr. Sam Pullen

Citation: For sustained contributions to GPS integrity and the Ground Based Augmentation System.


Dr. Sam Pullen has made significant contributions to the foundation and evolution of the Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) on the LAAS Architecture Review Committee and as major figure in the development and validation of LAAS standards, including the RTCA LAAS Minimum Operational Performance Standard in 2001, 2007, and 2008, the RTCA LAAS Minimum Aviation System Performance Standard in 2004, as well as the GBAS Standards and Recommended Practices for ICAO—a subbranch of the United Nations—in 2006 and its current revision being developed in 2016.

In 2000, Dr. Pullen and his team at Stanford developed, implemented and experimentally verified the “Integrity Monitor Testbed,” which was the very first LAAS ground facility prototype, covering all signal, measurement and data quality monitoring functions needed to ensure navigation integrity for airborne users. He leveraged this work to help the FAA develop rigorous safety requirements for Honeywell’s SLS-4000 Category I GBAS Ground Facility in 2008.

Since the historic ionospheric storm of October 2003, Dr. Pullen has been widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on ionospheric front modeling, analysis and mitigation for GBAS. Dr. Pullen was the principal force behind the GBAS ionospheric gradient safety case that culminated in the validation of the ICAO SARPs for GBAS in 2016.

In addition to his leading role in LAAS/GBAS integrity, Dr. Pullen has contributed heavily to integrity design and analysis for the DoD’s JPALS program, including the U.S. Navy’s Shipboard Relative GPS architecture from 2003 to 2008, the U.S. Air Force’s Land-based Differential GPS system in 2003 and 2004, and the Common Architecture Evaluation for JPALS in 2005. He was also involved in the GPS III Modernization effort in 2001, where he co-invented a novel GPS satellite self-monitoring system.

Dr. Pullen is the technical manager of GBAS/LAAS research at Stanford University, and is a widely known technical consultant on GNSS, decision analysis, and risk assessment. He received his BS degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989, and his MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University in 1990 and 1996, respectively, all in Aerospace Engineering.