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Ivan A. Getting


Ivan Alexander Getting (January 18, 1912 – October 11, 2003) was an American physicist and electrical engineer, credited (along with Roger L. Easton and Bradford Parkinson) with the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS). He was the co-leader (the other being Louis Ridenour) of the research group which developed the SCR-584, an automatic microwave tracking fire-control system, which enabled anti-aircraft guns to destroy a significant percentage of the German V-1 flying bombs launched against London late in the Second World War.

Ivan A. Getting was born on 18 January 1912 in New York City to family of Slovak-German immigrants from Bytča, Slovakia and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as an Edison Scholar (S.B. Physics, 1933); and Merton College, Oxford as a Graduate Rhodes Scholar (D.Phil., 1935) in astrophysics. He then worked at Harvard University on nuclear instrumentation and cosmic rays (Junior Fellow, 1935-1940) and the MIT Radiation Laboratory (1940-1950; Director of the Division on Fire Control and Army Radar, Associate Professor 1945; Professor 1946). During the Second World War he was a special consultant to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson on the Army’s use of radar. He also served as head of the Naval Fire Control Section of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, member of the Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee on Searchlight and Fire Control, and head of the Radar Panel of the Research and Development Board of the Department of Defense.


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