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Thomas Stansell, Jr.

Consultant and Satellite Navigation Pioneer, Stansell Consulting
Rancho Palos Verdes, California, USA

Tom Stansell heads Stansell Consulting, which he founded in 1999. Previously he was a Vice President of Leica Geosystems involved in technology development and strategic relationships. Stansell received his BEE degree in 1957 and his MEE degree in 1964, both from the University of Virginia.

At the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Stansell participated in development of the Transit Navigation Satellite System, including the world’s first surface ship satellite navigation receiver and the world’s first portable Doppler geodetic survey receiver.

In 1968 he joined Magnavox where he led the development of many Transit and GPS products and their underlying technologies, including integrated navigation systems, Transit navigation and survey equipment, and GPS and GPS/GLONASS navigation and survey equipment. At Magnavox he became a staff vice-president.

In 1984 Stansell oversaw development of the first Magnavox commercial GPS navigator, the T-Set. Commercial deliveries began in 1984. The T-set was used for oceanographic research, drill rig positioning, search for the Challenger debris, and locating the Titanic. In 1990, Stansell led development of the world’s first integrated GPS/GLONASS navigator, which was delivered to MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Stansell served on the 2000 WAAS Independent Review Board and in 2001 led technical development of the new GPS L2 civil signal (L2C). Currently he coordinates the L1C signal definition project.

Stansell was technical program chairman (’84, ’86, and ’88) and general chairman (’94, ’96, and ’98) of IEEE PLANS conferences, and he served as technical program chairman of Institute of Navigation (ION) GPS-91 and general chairman of ION GPS-92. He received the ION Weems Award in 1996, the IEEE PLANS Kershner award in 2000, the 2002 Navstar Award from the GPS Joint Program Office, and the 2004 Johannes Kepler award from ION. He holds several GPS-related patents.

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