Myron Katon

Myron Kayton

Kayton Engineering Company

Dr. Kayton has 50 years of experience designing and testing avionic, navigation, communication, and computer-automation systems. As a Consulting Engineer for Kayton Engineering Company, he worked on several automotive electronic systems, automated process systems, upper-stage spacecraft, a satellite interceptor, commercial communication systems, numerous aircraft avionic systems, and a dozen land navigators. He has conducted several score forensic inspections and analyses. From 1968-81 at TRW, Dr. Kayton served as Chief Engineer for Spacelab avionics, Head of System Engineering for Space Shuttle avionics, and Project Engineer for the electronics of the Inertial Upper Stage and a nuclear power plant, among many assignments. From 1965-68, Dr. Kayton served as Deputy Manager for Lunar Module Guidance and Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where his office directed the contractors designing two inertial navigation systems, an alignment telescope, the flight controls, crew station and two radars. From 1960-65, he was Section Head at Litton's Guidance and Control Division, where he designed and analyzed some of the earliest multi-sensor navigation systems. Dr. Kayton is a registered electrical and mechanical engineer. He is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), was an elected member of the corporate Board of Directors, and served two terms as President of its Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. He taught simulation methods, multi-sensor navigation systems, and land navigation at UCLA and published more than 80 papers and articles. He conducts technical seminars throughout the world as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. He is the author of the standard reference text, AVIONICS NAVIGATION SYSTEMS (first and second editions) and of NAVIGATION: LAND, SEA, AIR AND SPACE. He is the recipient of IEEE's Millennium Medal, IEEE-AES's Carlton Award for the best technical paper of 1988, and ION's Kershner Award for Navigation. Dr. Kayton received the Ph.D. in Instrumentation from M.I.T. in 1960, the M.S. from Harvard University with a concentration in electrical engineering, and the B.S. in mechanical engineering from The Cooper Union. He is listed in WHO'S WHO IN ENGINEERING, WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA, and AMERICAN MEN AND WOMEN OF SCIENCE. He is an instrument-rated pilot and holds an FAA Project Raincheck certificate in Air Traffic Control. He is interested in history, languages, and tennis.

Life Span

Myron Katon, PhD'60, died from COVID-19 in May 2020. He was an internationally known authority in the fields of inertial navigation and guidance, as well as the author of the definitive textbook Avionics Navigation Systems and several other books. He is best known as the deputy director for guidance and control for the lunar module that landed.a man on the moon during the Apollo Project. He also worked on the Space Shuttle rendezvous radar and many other aerospace projects. He was an instrument-rated pilot and avid traveler, ran his own consulting business for two decades, and taught classes in power systems management.

After working at NASA, Dr. Katon worked at TRW as chief engineer for Spacelab Avionics, headed the system engineering team for Space Shuttle Avionics, and was a project engineer for a nuclear power plant. He was a life fellow of the IEEE, was an elected member of its corporate board of directors, and served two terms as president of its Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. He taught simulation methods, multi-sensor navigation systems, and land navigation at UCLA, and published more than 80 papers and articles. In 1981, he formed Kayton Engineering Company in Santa Monica, CA, and taught at the University of California in Los Angeles.

He received the IEEE's Millennium Medal and the 206 Kershner Award for his work on avionics, navigation, communication, and computer-automation systems. His name is included on the Wall of Honor at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He is a fellow in the National Science Foundation. He received a Cooper Union Presidential Citation in 1980 and the CUAA Gano Dunn Award in 1975. He was inducted into the Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.

Myron's daughter Sue ('78) and grandson Daniel ('07) are also MIT alumni.