Ivan A. Getting

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Ivan A. Getting
Ivan Alexander Getting

(1912-01-18)January 18, 1912
DiedOctober 11, 2003(2003-10-11) (aged 91)
OccupationPhysicist, Electrical Engineer
Known for Global Positioning System

Ivan Alexander Getting (January 18, 1912 October 11, 2003) was an American physicist and electrical engineer, credited (along with Roger L. Easton and 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 SCR-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 late in the Second World War.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of more than 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.

Roger L. Easton American scientist

Roger Lee Easton, Sr. was an American scientist/physicist who was the principal inventor and designer of the Global Positioning System, along with Ivan A. Getting and Bradford Parkinson. He was born in Craftsbury, Vermont.


Biography and positions held

Ivan A. Getting was born on 18 January 1912 in New York City to family of Slovak-German immigrants from Bytča, Slovakia and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as an Edison Scholar (S.B. Physics, 1933); and Merton College, Oxford as a Graduate Rhodes Scholar (D.Phil., 1935) in astrophysics. [1] He then worked at Harvard University on nuclear instrumentation and cosmic rays (Junior Fellow, 1935-1940) and the MIT Radiation Laboratory (1940-1950; Director of the Division on Fire Control and Army Radar, Associate Professor 1945; Professor 1946). 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.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

The Slovaks are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Slovakia who share a common ancestry, culture, history and speak the Slovak language.

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

In 1950, 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). [1] While at Raytheon, Getting also served on the Undersea Warfare Committee of the National Research Council.

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

In 1960 Getting became the founding President of The Aerospace Corporation (1960-1977). [1] 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 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. Getting retired from The Aerospace Corporation in 1977.

In 1978 he served as President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [2] He also served on the Board of Directors of the Northrop Corporation and the Board of Trustees of the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers scholarly society, publisher and standards organization, headquartered in US

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electrical engineers with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

Northrop Corporation 1939–1984 aerospace manufacturer in the United States

Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its 1994 merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, most successfully the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

Environmental Research Institute of Michigan

The Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM) was a research institute at Ann Arbor, Michigan, founded in 1972. The institute contributed to the development of remote sensing, radar, and holography.

Getting died on October 11, 2003, in Coronado, California.

Major technical and administrative contributions

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 .

Getting was an early designer and proponent of satellite-based navigation systems which led to the development and deployment of the Global Positioning System (GPS). While in Raytheon he oversaw the development of the first three-dimensional, time-difference-of-arrival position-finding system – developed in response to an Air Force requirement for a guidance system to be used with a proposed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that would achieve mobility by traveling on a railroad system. While at The Aerospace Corporation he oversaw studies on the use of satellites as the basis for a navigation system for vehicles moving rapidly in three dimensions. In addition to his technical contributions to GPS, Getting was a tireless advocate of the project in the face of early resistance from the Pentagon.

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 Powers Europe Laboratory at the Hague; deployment of U.S. air defense capability called the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) 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. Congress).

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.

At The 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 systems.

Major awards and recognitions

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  1. 1 2 3 Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 244–245.
  2. "Ivan Getting". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  3. Inventor's Hall of Fame 2004 Archived 2009-03-15 at the Wayback Machine