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AAE Prof. James Garrison named Fellow in the Institute of Navigation

AAE Prof. James Garrison has been elected a Fellow in the Institute of Navigation (ION), one of three awarded in 2018.
photo of James Garrison
AAE Prof. James Garrison

AAE Prof. James Garrison has been elected a Fellow in the Institute of Navigation (ION), one of three awarded in 2018. He was recognized for his contributions in developing Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry methods for space-based and airborne remote sensing, with applications in oceanography, agriculture and hydrology, and his recent work in expanding these methods to other signals-of-opportunity.

ION noted that Prof. Garrison has made groundbreaking contributions demonstrating that reflections of GNSS signals contain valuable information on surface scattering. His seminal research sparked the subsequent development of an entirely new technique for Earth remote sensing. His subsequent research in this area contributed to the competitive selection of the CYGNSS mission in the 2011 NASA Earth Ventures solicitation. CYGNSS is a constellation of eight micro-satellites to measure ocean wind fields at a high revisit rate to improve forecasting of tropical storm intensification.

Expanding upon this work, Prof. Garrison pioneered the techniques of reflectometry methods beyond GNSS to the general class of “Signals of Opportunity (SoOp),” to enable new remote sensing capabilities making use of nearly any microwave frequency penetrating the Earth’s atmosphere. He is the PI on a NASA Instrument Incubator Program project, partnering with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Exelis, Inc., to develop an airborne instrument prototype to demonstrate the remote sensing of root-zone soil moisture, an important quantity affecting agriculture, flood and drought predictions, and understanding of the Earth’s water cycle, which is not directly measured by any existing spaceborne instrument. He partnered with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a wideband ocean altimetry concept using reflectometry with K and Ku-band direct broadcast communication satellites, demonstrating centimeter-level precision in sea surface height retrievals. SoOp instruments built by Prof. Garrison’s students have flown on the NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

The Institute of Navigation (ION) is a not-for-profit professional organization dedicated to advancing Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT). ION’s international membership is drawn from many sources including professional navigators, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, astronomers, cartographers, photogrammetrists, meteorologists, educators, geodesists, surveyors, general aviation and airline pilots, mariners and anyone interested in position-determining systems.