Frank van Graas

Photographer: Mark Dawson

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Electrical engineering professor receives top honor

Frank van Graas receives digital avionics award

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has awarded Frank van Graas, Russ Professor of Electrical Engineering at Ohio University, with the 2011 Dr. John C. Ruth Digital Avionics Award recipient.

Van Graas was honored Oct. 19 at the 30th annual Digital Avionics Systems Conference in Seattle, Wash., for outstanding lifetime achievement in GPS navigation.

A leading international expert in aviation landing systems, van Graas said it was a great honor to be recognized by AIAA, which is the leading digital avionics organization.

"During my GPS research and teaching career, I have greatly benefited from the professional services provided by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in addition to the strong support of my university, colleagues and students," he said.

The professor at the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology is best known for his work on the Federal Aviation Administration's Local Area Augmentation System for GPS approach and landing systems. His team at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton Roads, Va., was the first to prove that a differential GPS system could be used for aircraft autoland applications.

He also led the team that developed the Integrated Multipath Limiting Antenna, which allowed GPS signals to be received with little distortion. Van Graas' system is now installed at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J.

AIAA's Dr. John C. Ruth Digital Avionics Award honors outstanding achievement in both technical management and implementation of digital avionics in space or aeronautical systems, including systems analysis, design, development or application.

AIAA is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession, with more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members.