Itzhack Y. Bar-Itzhack, Professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, was a prominent and world-renowned member of the applied estimation, navigation, and spacecraft attitude determination communities. He touched the lives of many. He had a love for life, an incredible sense of humor, and wisdom that he shared freely with everyone he met. To honor Professor Bar-Itzhack’s memory, as well as his numerous seminal professional achievements, an international symposium was held in Haifa, Israel, on October 14–17, 2012, under the auspices of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the Technion and the Israeli Association for Automatic Control. The Springer Book contains 27 of the Symposium’s papers that were selected via a rigorous review process. The book was edited by: Dr. Daniel Choukroun (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), Prof. Yaakov Oshman (Technion’s Department of Aerospace Engineering), Dr. Julie Thienel (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), and Prof. Moshe Idan (Technion’s Department of Aerospace Engineering).
Prof. Bar-Itzhack was one of the founders of the Controls group at the Technion’s Department of Aerospace Engineering. He was a world-class pioneer of Inertial Navigation Theory, and was also one of the top leaders in spacecraft attitude determination. He was a very active member of the Technion community, fulfilled various important positions, and was Dean of Aerospace Engineering between 1993—1994. He had many graduate students, including Prof. Yaakov Oshman and Dr. Daniel Choukroun, two of the Springer Book’s Editors. Prof. Bar-Itzhack contributed significantly to the Israeli industry, including Rafael, IAI, IMI and others. He kept very close contact with researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he supported many projects. He was AIAA Fellow and IEEE Fellow. He retired in 2006, and passed away in 2007, half a year after suddenly losing his wife, Nehama.
The Memorial Symposium was chaired by Prof. Yaakov Oshman (Technion’s Department of Aerospace Engineering) and Dr. Julie Thienel (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center). The local organizing committee included Profs. Moshe Idan and Tal Shima (Department of Aerospace Engineering), Prof. Leonid Mirkin (Department of Mechanical Engineering), and Prof. Per-Olof Gutman (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering). The Symposium was attended by more than 100 participants, and 43 talks were presented with contributors from 21 different countries. Five eminent experts from academy and industry delivered keynote talks during the technical sessions: Prof. Mark J. Balas (University of Wyoming) , Dr. F. Landis Markley (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), Prof. Mark. L. Psiaki (Cornell University), Dr. Hector P. Rotstein (Rafael –Advanced Defense Systems, Ltd.), and Prof. Jason L. Speyer (University of California, Los Angeles), and two keynote talks were given during a social session at the Gala dinner, by Distinguished Prof. (em) Daniel Weihs (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology) and Dr. Yoav Medan, who was Itzhack’s first doctoral student.
The Symposium was supported by: The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee, Bernard M. Gordon Center for Systems Engineering at the Technion, IMI – Israel Military Industries, Ltd., Rafael – Advanced Defense Systems, Ltd., Tamam Division – Israel Aerospace Industries, Ltd., European Office of Aerospace research and Development, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, United States Air Force Research Laboratory, Technion Autonomous Systems Program and IEEE Israel.