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Ron Beard's Compass Points

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Engineering Specialties
Design and operation of navigation satellite systems, space-qualified atomic clocks and related subsystems

His Compass Points

• Carol, his wife of 42 years, “ who has always been behind me.”
• Son Orson and daughter-in-law Carrie and “three fabulous grandchildren.”
• “My love of science.”

Favorite Equation
“The one I seem to use the most is Range = speed of light × time interval. The time interval is measured between the clock in space and the one of the ground. The whole GNSS infrastructure is built and designed to support this equation.”

GNSS “Aha” Moment
“The pivotal moment was when I was assigned to NAVAIR, Washington, D.C.”

First Significant GNSS Achievement

Beard developed Navigation Technology Satellite One (NTS-1) and NTS-2, which flew the first rubidium and cesium atomic clocks in space, while working as a project scientist during the early years of GPS development (1973-79)

GNSS Mentor

GPS pioneer Roger Easton, TIMATION System concept inventor and former branch head at of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

Influences of Engineering Outside Work

“Engineering and science is something that becomes part of the way you think and the things you do. You can’t turn it off after hours. Repairing things around the house, building things, and reading all tend to technical themes.”

Favorite Non-GNSS Activity

“I collect and repair fountain pens. The ones from the 1940s and 1950s are the best.”

What’s Next
“The re-definition of the UTC Time scale — a major step in establishing common ground for GNSS that could become a common time scale among the [various GNSS] systems.”

Back to "Ron Beard: The Measure of Time"

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