Dr. Spilker worked on the early satellite systems at Lockheed and Ford Aerospace (now Loral Space and Communications) before co-founding Stanford Telecommunications in 1973 where, among other accomplishments, Dr. Spilker and his team designed and developed the first GPS receivers for the Air Force. Under Dr. Spilker’s leadership as Chairman, President, and CEO Stanford Telecommunications was ranked by Forbes and Fortune as one of the Best Small Companies in America.
While busy running Stanford Telecommunications, Dr. Spilker wrote two seminal books. His first book Digital Communications by Satellite (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ) in 1977 has been the bible for students and working engineers in digital satellite communications. He also co-edited a two volume book titled Global Positioning System, Theory and Applications, Volumes I and II, (AIAA, Washington DC) in 1996 which is the most widely cited book on GPS. Spilker has authored over 100 papers and 50 patents. Dr. Spilker co-founded the Stanford Center for Position Navigation and Time at Stanford where he is now a Consulting Professor. Recently he also co-founded two Silicon Valley companies: Rosum in 2001, a company providing wireless location technology based on using TV signals, and AOSense in 2006, a company developing new inertial navigation, gravity gradiometers, and precision clocks based on ultra-cold atoms and laser measurements.
A vegetarian for 20 years, Dr. James Spilker has been a competitive weight lifter (Northern California power-lifting champion for masters over 50), bodybuilding champion (California for masters over 50), and took third place in the 100 meter sprint in the Martin Luther King Games at Stanford for masters over 60 years old.