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September 28th, 2020
Dr. Y. Jade Morton Receives Kepler Award

The Institute of Navigation presents Dr. Y. Jade Morton with prestigious Johannes Kepler Award during the ION GNSS+ 2020 VIRTUAL Conference

Manassas, Virginia – The Institute of Navigation’s (ION) Satellite Division presented Dr. Y. Jade Morton with its Johannes Kepler Award September 25, 2020 during the ION GNSS+ VIRTUAL Conference.

Dr. Morton was recognized for advances in scientific and navigation receiver technology, automated data collection, robust carrier phase tracking, remote sensing, and profound impact as an educator and author.

Dr. Y. Jade Morton has made pioneering contributions to the advancement of GNSS receiver technology and utilization of these enhanced capabilities for scientific discovery. Her work brings together scientific rigor with state-of-the-art engineering innovations to simultaneously improve PNT, while revealing remarkable new applications for GNSS.

Dr. Morton’s lab developed event-driven GNSS data acquisition systems (EDAS), designed to capture severe space weather and ionosphere disturbances of GNSS signals, which could not be handled by existing GNSS monitoring receivers. Her lab designed and built remotely-configurable, multi-GNSS, multi-band, SDR hardware using off-the-shelf components; and developed software including machine-learning algorithms for automatic event detection to trigger raw data recording during these events. Her lab deployed these receivers worldwide. The network has enabled unprecedented studies and forecasting of ionosphere/space weather phenomena, detection of satellite oscillator anomalies, and development of advanced GNSS receivers for navigation and remote sensing under challenging conditions.

Dr. Morton’s group has made groundbreaking advances in GNSS carrier phase processing and established theoretical performance bounds. Her group developed optimal carrier tracking loop architectures and implementations, and successfully applied the techniques to processing signals experiencing strong ionospheric scintillation for ionosphere and space weather research; radio-occultation signals traversing moist lower troposphere for weather and climate modeling; weak coherent reflected signals from ocean, land, and sea ice for precision altimetry applications; and navigation in urban canyons and on high dynamic platforms.

Dr. Morton is an expert on space weather and ionosphere monitoring. Her research findings range from climatology and morphology of ionospheric plasma irregularities to spatial, temporal and frequency domain characteristics; cause-effect relationships between solar-geomagnetic activities and GNSS signal disturbances; and radio wave propagation theory and simulation. The studies, based on data from her GNSS networks, magnetometers, radar and satellite-based measurements, cover the globe from the arctic to the equator and span an entire solar cycle.

Professor Morton is currently the Director of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado Boulder where she mentors students, faculty, staff and an ever-expanding international network of collaborators throughout the world. She is a prolific author with over 270 publications. She was awarded her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Morton has served numerous organizations with thousands of hours of volunteer service including organizing each of the ION’s large technical conferences and leading over 10 student teams participating in ION’s autonomous lawn mower and snowplow competitions, is credited as one of the co-organizing founders of the ION’s Pacific PNT conference, has served as the ION Satellite Division Chair and is the current ION President. Dr. Morton is a past recipient of the IEEE Kershner Award and the ION’s Burka and Thurlow Awards. She is a Fellow of the ION, RIN and the IEEE.

The Johannes Kepler Award recognizes and honors an individual for sustained and significant contributions to the development of satellite navigation. It is the highest honor bestowed by the ION’s Satellite Division.