Ivan A. Getting
Father of GPS
|© Copyright 2015
|Custom Forged Longitude
and Latitude House Signs
"Unique housewarming gift
for anyone with a special place."
|We gladly show our competition because we have the finest quality plaques at the lowest prices!
|EXPLORE OUR STORE AND FREE SERVICES!
All About Latitude & Longitude
About The Longitude Store
Father of the GPS System
Ivan Alexander Getting (January 18, 1912—
October 11, 2003) was an American physicist and
electrical engineer, credited (along with Bradford
Parkinson) with the development of the Global
Positioning System (GPS). He was the co-leader (the
other being Louis Ridenour) of the research group
which developed the SrCR-584, an automatic
microwave tracking fire-control system, which enabled
anti-aircraft guns to destroy a significant percentage of
the German V-1 flying bombs launched against
London near the end of World War II.
Ivan A. Getting was born on 18 January, 1912 in New
York City to family of Slovak immigrants and grew up
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Edison
Scholar and Oxford University as a Graduate Rhodes
Scholar, He worked at Harvard University on nuclear
instrumentation and cosmic rays and was Director of
the Division on Fire Control and Army Radar at the MIT
Radiation Laboratory, During the Second World War
he was a special consultant to Secretary of War Henry
L. Stimson on the Army’s use of radar. He also served
as head of the Naval Fire Control Section of the Office
of Scientific Research and Development, member of
the Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee on
Searchlight and Fire Control, and head of the Radar
Panel of the Research and Development Board of the
Department of Defense.
During the Korean War, Getting became Assistant for
Development Planning, Deputy Chief of Staff, United
States Air Force; and in 1951, Vice President for
Engineering and Research at the Raytheon
Corporation (1951-1960). While at Raytheon, Getting
also served on the Undersea Warfare Committee of
the National Research Council.
In 1960 Getting became founding President of the
Aerospace Corporation (1960-1977). The Corporation
was established at the request of the Secretary of the
Air Force as a non-profit organization to apply "the full
resources of modern science and technology to the
problem of achieving those continued advances in
.He was also involved in the development of the first
high-speed flip-flop circuit at Harvard. He also was
involved in the development of the Navy GFCS MK-56
anti-aircraft fire control system; as well as in the
development and building of a 350 MeV synchrotron at
MIT Radiation Laboratory. He also was involved in the
development of the Sparrow III and Hawk missile
systems; as well as commercial production of
transistors at Raytheon.
As a consultant to the US government: implementation
of the Quick Reaction Capability for Electronic
Counter-Measures; establishment of the SHAPE
(Supreme Headquarters Allied Parties in
Europe)Laboratory at the Hague; deployment of U.S. air
defense capability called the Semi-Automatic Ground
Environment (radar) system; direction of studies on MX
missile basing and long-range combat aircraft; technical
analysis and design of a long-range supersonic bomber
capable of reaching the former Soviet Union and
returning without refueling (Getting's work is credited in
the reinstatement of the B-1 bomber funding by the U.S.
As member of the Undersea Warfare Committee of
the National Research Council: Associate Director of
Project Nobska sponsored by the U.S. Navy and
concerning submarine warfare weapons;
recommended a submarine-based, solid-propellant
intermediate-range ballistic missile that formed the
basis for the Polaris missile.
In Aerospace Corporation: planning for new ballistic
missile systems; oversight of space launch systems;
development of high-powered chemical lasers;
contributions to the Mercury and Gemini space launch
Major awards and recognitions
• Presidential Medal of Merit (1948)
• The Naval Ordnance Development Award
• The Air Force Exceptional Service Award (1960)
• IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Pioneer Award (1975)
• The Kitty Hawk Award (1975)
• The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer’
s Pioneer Award and Founders Medal (1989)
• The Department of Defense Medal for
Distinguished Public Service (1997)
|Getting in 1962 with American astronaut Alan Shepard
at The Aerospace Corporation.
ballistic missiles and space systems, which are basic to national security."
Getting was also a founding member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory
Group (later renamed the Scientific Advisory Board) and chair of its
Electronics Panel. In 1978 he served as President of the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He served on the Board of Directors
of the Northrop Corporation and the Board of Trustees of the
Environmental Research Institute of Michigan.
Getting retired from the Aerospace Corporation in 1977, and died on
October 11, 2003, in Coronado, California.
While at MIT Radiation Laboratory, Getting’s group developed the first
automatic microwave tracking fire control radar, the SCR 584. This
system, along with the proximity fuze, significantly reduced damage to
London by the V-1 flying bombs (also known as "doodlebugs" or "buzz
bombs") launched by Germany from June 1944 of the Second World
War, by enabling accurate anti-aircraft fire to destroy the missiles. On 28
August 1944, the last day on which significant numbers of V-1s were
launched against London, of 104 fired, 68 were destroyed by artillery, 16
by other means, and 16 crashed.