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National Inventors Hall of Fame 2010 Inductees Include TIMATION Developer

March 31, 2010

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Listen to TIMATION II, recorded September 30, 1969 on 137.380 MHz in AM/FM by Mike D. Kenny*

Roger Easton, who led development of the TIMATION system, one of the forerunner systems to GPS, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame today (March 31).

A program started at the Naval Research Lab (NRL) in the late 1960s, TIMATION was the first to fly atomic clocks on satellites, a breakthrough that enabled both space- and ground-based system components to maintain exact time synchronization — an essential element in GPS positioning. TIMATION was developed for the Naval Air Systems Command.

This year's Induction ceremony, sponsored in part by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Kauffman Foundation, took place at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., hosted by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO director, David Kappos.

Other inductees received their honors for such achievements as Post-it Notes, man-made diamonds, and break-resistant, high temperature, glass ceramics used in rockets.

Born in Craftsbury, Vermont, Easton spent his career at NRL until his retirement in 1980, continuing to consult for a number of years. In 2006, he received the National Medal of Technology. At NRL, Easton also worked on Project Vanguard, designing a satellite to be sent into orbit and on Minitrack, a system designed to track all earth-orbiting satellites.

*Thanks to Matthias Bopp and his website of space sounds.

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