The Executive Committee of PLANS 1986 established an award for outstanding achievement. The purpose was to recognize individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the technology of navigation and position equipment, systems or practices. The committee has established this as a PLANS tradition, thus permitting the IEEE to recognize those who have contributed most significantly to this modern era of electronic navigation.
It is appropriate that the award has been named for Dr. Richard B. Kershner (1913-1982). Dr. Kershner participated in the initial conception and then led the development of Transit, the world's first navigation satellite system. His technical contributions and his leadership of the Program at the Johns Hopkins Applied Phusics Laboratory are examples of the highest standards of personal and professional performance which this award is intended to recognize. The Transit Program was first funded in 1959, and the system become operational in 1964. During this short interval Dr. Kershner directed the development and launch of some of the world's first satellites, developed user equipment for both submarines and surface ships, and founded the science of satellite Doppler geodesy to improve knowledge of the earth's gravity field. The result was a navigation satellite system which served the U.S. Navy and tens of thousands of civil users worldwide.
The PLANS 2004 Kershner Award was presented to Professor Itzhack Y. Bar-Itzhack. Professor Itzhack Y. Bar-Itzhack is the Sophie and William Shamban Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the Technion-Isreal Institute of Technology. He previously served as the Dean of Aerospace Engineering at The Technion.
Professor Itzhack has made valuable contributions to the field of navigation throughout his career and continues to do so at present. He has been involved in a wide range of topics from the Apollo Program to the Trident Missile Program. His most significant contributions have been to the art of Inertial and Aided Navigation Systems. He was one of the pioneers who developed the theory of Strapdown Inertial Navigation Systems (INS). His 1968 Ph.D. dissertation was titled "Strapdown Inertial Navigation Systems," and his first paper on the subject was published in 1970. He continued to make significant contributions to the field for the next three decades. He is credited with the formulation of INS error models in terms of modern control theory.
The PLANS 2004 Executive Committee is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of Professor Itzhack Y. Bar-Itzhack.
Past Recipients of the Kershner Award: