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    Re: Dependence on GPS
    From: Paul Jackson
    Date: 2009 Oct 25, 01:30 -0700
    Jim,
          I have just read your posting on Nav List re over dependence on GPS. You give the most prudent advice I have read in years. I try to do a sun sight and star sights at least once a week. I then go ahead and work these sights out manually i.e. Nautical Almanac +HO229. This I feel at least keeps me up to speed should GPS go pop!!! I don't think a solar flare will fry my C.PLATH + Pen & paper
    Paul W Jackson.

    --- On Sun, 25/10/09, jn.wilson{at}juno.com <jn.wilson{at}juno.com> wrote:

    From: jn.wilson{at}juno.com <jn.wilson{at}juno.com>
    Subject: [NavList 10271] Dependence on GPS
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Received: Sunday, 25 October, 2009, 5:04 PM


    I am disturbed that too many people use GPS without recognizing that it could become disabled. I still think that practical knowledge of celestial navigation should be a requirement for any navigator. I just found this:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10189-solar-flares-will-disrupt-gps-in-2011..html

    Civil engineers have long used the idea of "100 year floods" to design drainage systems. The idea there is to allocate resources wisely. I wonder if GPS is designed to survive a "100 year solar storm"?

    I tell my students that, "When the batteries go dead, you still need to know where you are." That's to get their attention. But it is the truth. And, if GPS were to become useless, you would still need to know where you are.

    I spent my career creating interplanetary spacecrafts, and I know first hand the many ways that they can fail. We think that our first one, Mariner 2, was hit by a meteorite, but we didn't have enough instrumentation aboard to tell. There are many hazards out there, not all of them known.

    I'm finding that common sense is not only not common enough, but is impossible to sell.

    Jim Wilson





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