An African American woman identified as Gladys West has been honoured by the United States Air Force. The woman who is from Virginia is the mathematician who created the Global Positioning System (GPS)
The 87-year-old woman had been honoured at The Pentagon in Virginia, US. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense.
West, who was instrumental in inventing the GPS which we have all now become used to, has finally received the honour she deserves for her part in the creation of the Global Positioning System.
It was gathered that West's name was inducted into the Air Force and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame by the United States Air Force during a ceremony held at The Pentagon.
The woman who was born into a farming family had always known that she did not desire to work on the farming fields. In an interview, she said: “I realized I had to get an education to get out.”
She became a mathematician after graduating as the top of her class. In 1956, the woman became the second black woman to be employed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
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According to BusinessGhana, she had gathered data from satellites for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, and that was where the GPS was later created.
In 1986, she had published a 60-page illustrated guide, Data Processing System Specifications for the Geosat Satellite Radar Altimeter. A guide based off data created from the radio altimeter on the Geosat satellite which went into orbit on March 12, 1984.
Captain Godfrey Weekes who was the commanding officer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division then, had described the role West played in creating the Global Positioning System, as integral.
Weekes said: “She rose through the ranks, worked on the satellite geodesy [science that measures the size and shape of Earth] and contributed to the accuracy of GPS and the measurement of satellite data. As Gladys West started her career as a mathematician at Dahlgren in 1956, she likely had no idea that her work would impact the world for decades to come.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that a 30-year-old lady who was born to a family of six become the first black woman to get a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering. She is also known as whizz at the national aeronautics and space administration.
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