Karl Kovach helps coordinate The Aerospace Corporation’s support to the GPS Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, where he monitors constellation performance and management, navigation signal development, spectrum management, atomic clock technology development, and other tasks related to GPS accuracy, integrity and availability.
Kovach graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and then entered the Air Force. He capped eight years’ active duty as commander of the GPS Control Segment at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. In that position, he directed the Initial Control System operations, managed the deployment of the current Operational Control System (OCS), and guided the transition of the OCS to Colorado’s Schriever Air Force Base.
In 1986, Kovach moved to ARINC where he served as senior principal engineer, then technical director, and finally as a fellow in the company’s Space Systems GPS program.
In 2007, he left ARINC for Aerospace Corporation.
In 2003, the same year as his Global Hawk UAV patent, the U.S. Institute of Navigation honored Kovach with the Weems Award. That honor crowned a string of awards beginning with a 1982 “Special People Award” from the Air Force Association up through ARINC’s first Chairman’s Award given to Kovach in 2000.
Kovach was profiled in the Inside GNSS feature, Human Engineering, September-October 2007.