Graduate School of Engineering & Management

The Institute of Navigation (ION)

The Institute of Navigation (ION)

ION is the world’s leading non-profit professional society, which is dedicated to the growth and progress of the art and science of positioning, navigation and timing (PNT). ION was founded in 1945 and caters to a community involved in air, space, marine, land navigation, and position determination. Its worldwide membership includes a vast range of professionals who are interested in position-determining systems. In addition to professional members, ION has corporate members stemming from civil and military government agencies, educational facilities, consulting firms, and scientific and technical institutions to name a few.

Currently, ION has 13 active local sections in various parts of the Unites States and Canada. The Dayton, Ohio, section is chaired by Lt Col Michael Stepaniak from the Autonomy and Navigation Technology (ANT) Center at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). This section draws the support of Ohio and Indiana residents interested in the research, development, and implementation of navigation solutions through collaborative projects. Located in the midst of a flourishing PNT research cluster, the Dayton ION section attracts professionals, researchers, educators, and students from AFIT, Miami University, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), the Air Force Research Laboratory, and others. The ION also provides many opportunities for outreach to young people interested in the exciting and hands-on field of PNT.

College: The Robotic Lawnmower Competition is an annual event in Dayton in which teams of college students design and operate a robotic unmanned lawn mower using the art and science of navigation to rapidly and accurately mow a field of grass.

High School: The Mini-Urban Challenge is another annual event in which high school students must develop a robotic, autonomous ground vehicle using a LEGO® MindStorms kit to navigate through a LEGO® city.

For more information, visit the ION website:

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