The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering has been awarded to Professor Bradford Parkinson, Dr James Spilker, Hugo FrueHauf and Richard Schwartz for their work on the Global Positioning System (GPS).
Billions of people around the world rely on a huge engineering infrastructure that extends across our planet and into space. It enables anyone with a smartphone to pinpoint exactly where they are on Earth, as well as the precise time, and is also used in applications that range from aviation safety and banking to locating and rescuing ships in distress. The American Global Positioning System (GPS) - the world’s first global satellite radio navigation system - helped make this possible.
GPS provides location data for Google Maps and SatNav users. This can be applied to everything from precision farming with GPS-guided tractors to the guidance of humanitarian supplies into conflict zones. GPS has transformed navigation and precision timing and is essential for today’s transportation services, smartphones, food production, banking and science.