The new year is already presenting reasons to celebrate for Virginia Tech professor Mark Psiaki. In the span of a few short weeks, Psiaki was honored by his peers and colleagues with two prestigious awards from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institute of Navigation (ION).

In early January, Psiaki was presented with the AIAA’s Mechanics and Control of Flight Award, for the development of new nonlinear estimation algorithms and for their application to problems in satellite attitude and orbit determination and in global positioning systems (GPS) signal processing. Psiaki is the Kevin Crofton Faculty Chair of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech and a distinguished scholar in the field of dynamics and control. 

The annual honor was presented at the AIAA’s SciTech Forum in San Diego, California. Past Virginia Tech recipients of the Mechanics and Control of Flight Award include Henry Kelley, late professor of aerospace and ocean engineering, who received the award in 1973; and former professor of engineering science and mechanics Leonard Meirovitch, who was bestowed the honor in 1987.

Last fall, Psiaki was presented with the Johannes Kepler Award from the Institute of Navigation. He is the first to receive both awards over the course of a career.

The good news kept rolling in, with the announcement of the Institute of Navigation's Samuel M. Burka Award. The Burka Award is granted to recognize outstanding achievement in the preparation of a paper advancing the art and science of positioning, navigation and timing and is given in memory of Dr. Samuel M. Burka, a dedicated public servant who devoted a long and distinguished career to the research and development of air navigation equipment and reviewing technical material for official publications. 

Psiaki received the honor for his paper titled, “Navigation using carrier Doppler shift from a LEO constellation: TRANSIT on steroids”, which was published in the 2021 volume of the society’s professional journal, NAVIGATION.