A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Guy Schwartz
Date: 2007 Nov 24, 17:47 -0800
A device that automatically observes stars, day or night, with respect to the local gravity vector (i.e., the true "down" direction), could provide a high-precision location and attitude solution for ships and aircraft, independent of GPS. Two prototype units with different designs have been constructed, one that operates in the far-red optical part of the spectrum, the other in the near-infrared. Accuracies better than 100 meters in position and several arcseconds in attitude should eventually be achievable with such devices. This project is jointly managed by the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington and the Navy's SPAWAR System Center in San Diego. The prototype units were built by two California contractors. A follow-up device is being built for surveying applications (fixed points on land) by one of the contractors, funded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The feasibility of using similar devices to precisely align Navy Aegis ship radar is also being investigated.
The navigation software for the project is based on some innovative algorithms for celestial navigation developed at the Naval Observatory about a decade ago. These algorithms are based on the solution to a familiar astronomical problem - determining the orbit of a body from a series of observations. In this case, the body in question is a ship and its "orbit" is a rhumb-line track over the spheroidal surface of the Earth.
Anyone know anything about it or if it works:
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