2021 Fellow

Presented to: Mr. Daniel A. Tazartes

Citation: For sustained technological contributions in the research, development and deployment of strapdown inertial navigation systems.

Daniel A. Tazartes

Mr. Tazartes has been at the forefront of navigation technology for the past 36 years at Northrop Grumman (previously Litton), where over 50,000 systems, with technology he helped develop, have been delivered to military and commercial users.

In the 1980s, Mr. Tazartes played a key role developing Litton’s first production strapdown inertial navigation systems (INS) based on ring laser gyro (RLG) technology. He was instrumental in designing highly efficient algorithms for instrument and strapdown compensation for effects such as coning, sculling, size effect, and attitude integration. Additionally, he pioneered the use of high bandwidth computer control for RLGs, leading to significant improvement in dither performance and reduction of dither-induced errors. He helped extend the role of strapdown navigators to flight control and motion compensation applications by developing low latency, low noise data processing. With the advent of GPS in the mid-1980’s, he was an early advocate of integrating GPS into existing inertial systems using closed-loop tight coupling.

In the 1990s, Mr. Tazartes integrated the non-dithered zero-lock laser gyro into embedded GPS-inertial navigation systems. More than 10,000 of these systems have been installed in more than 40 different platform types, including commercial airliners. He contributed innovative control, compensation, calibration, and modeling techniques that achieved demanding performance requirements with a gyro half the size of its predecessor.

Mr. Tazartes then pioneered high bandwidth modulation and control of fiber optic gyros (FOG). His novel techniques permit FOGs to achieve accuracy and reliability performance figures that were previously unobtainable. In parallel, he participated in the development of novel Kalman filtering techniques involving inertial, GPS, transfer alignment, and others.

Daniel A. Tazartes is a Northrop Grumman Fellow with the company’s Mission Systems sector. He holds 67 US patents. He is a recipient of the ION’s Weems Award (2002) and the IEEE’s Aerospace and Electronics Systems Pioneer Award (2010). He holds a BS in Physics from UCLA and an MSEE from the California Institute of Technology.