A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2018 Mar 15, 10:32 -0700
Luc Van den Borre, you wrote:
"Aha! There's mention of KS-120 and KS-140 on the label of the box with switches. These were star trackers made by Kollsman for use on Hound Dog missiles launched from B-52's: http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-28.html So this device would have been used to test the star tracker on these missiles. This page is about the MD1, a different star tracker used on the B52 itself, but it has some comments from a technician about the use of a star simulator with the astro tracker: http://prc68.com/I/MD1.shtml"
Excellent sleuthing! So it is "sort of" a tiny planetarium. But the sky show it produces isn't for little aliens --it's for early robots, the automated star trackers on those old nuclear missiles. Fascinating!
Assuming your identification is correct, it occurs to me that this could be used in a fashion analogous to GPS spoofing, except that it's sky spoofing. The device is designed to test the tracking and guidance system, but it could also be used to feed the "wrong sky" to the star trackers. You could make the missile think it was approaching its target when in fact it's approaching SAC headquarters or sitting at its home base in Michigan. Now there's a Cold War movie sub-plot...
I wonder how good the sky simulation looks? Phil Sadler, if you can get this thing powered up and functioning, you'll have to see if you can look into it at night and identify any constellations...
Clockwork Mapping / ReedNavigation.com
Conanicut Island USA