History of the Symposium

The Position Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS) was established in 1976 by the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society, with the support of its Board of Governors. It has been the premier IEEE conference in the field of navigation and positioning systems. The first PLANS was held in 1976 in San Diego, California. Since that time PLANS has been held bi-annually in a variety of locations. In addition to San Diego in 1978, 1984, and 2000, these locations included Atlantic City, NJ (1980 and 1994); Las Vegas, NV (1986 and 1982); Orlando, FL (1990); Monterey, CA (1992 and 2004); Atlanta, GA (1996); and Palm Springs, CA (1998 and 2002).

The technical programs of each of the PLANS conferences have covered the full spectrum of navigation techniques, such as radio systems, satellite systems, inertial systems, multisensor systems, tracking systems, and integrated communication and navigation systems. The application areas have included navigation and positioning systems for both civil and military aviation, marine, land and space vehicles. PLANS has consistently attracted the technical leaders in industry, government and the user community. The papers presented at the PLANS technical sessions have been recognized for their high quality, have represented the most recent innovations in the field and have therefore frequently served as major references in the field.

In recent years, PLANS has further increased its emphasis on civil and commercial applications. Examples of these have included Air Traffic Management, GPS Wide Area and Local Area Augmentation Systems for civil aviation (WAAS and LAAS), the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) positioning requirements for land vehicles, Kinematic Surveying techniques and Precision Agriculture and Construction.

A unique feature of each PLANS has been the availability at the start of the conference of its Proceedings containing the full technical papers, for immediate use by the attendees of the conference.

Each PLANS Conference has sponsored a number of excellent Tutorial Seminars on topics reflecting recent advances in the technologies and systems of interest to engineers working in the field of navigation and positioning. At many of the past PLANS conferences, unusual tours were made available to attendees as part of the conference program. As an example, at the PLANS in Atlanta, GA in 1996, tours were made through the Control Center of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the Control Center of Delta Airlines, the Georgia Department of Transportation Advanced Traffic Management Center, as well some Georgia Institute of Technology Laboratories.

One the highlights of each of the PLANS conferences has been the presentation of the prestigious Kershner award to outstanding contributors to the field of navigation sensors and systems. These have included the true pioneers whose innovations have found long-time and world-wide use.