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    Fix by Lunar Distances... for missiles in 1950
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 Nov 27, 22:01 -0800

    Here's an article from 1950 that sounds like it probably describes, in
    principle, the same method of "fix by lunar distances" that I've been
    talking about but for an entirely different "practical" application:
    LUNAR PARALLAX METHOD OF ASTRO NAVIGATION,
    written by J.S. Thompson, Rand Corporation
    "Abstract : In considering the problem of the automatic navigation of
    long-range surface-to-surface missiles it soon becomes evident that the
    system must be 'unjammable' by the enemy. That is to say, the missile
    cannot be required to depend on information received on radio channels
    (of any frequency) to keep on course. Such methods can be easily
    confused by the enemy's broadcasting spurious signals. A system not
    subject to such maltreatment that would measure the change in the
    position of the moon relative to the stars due to the motion of the
    observer (the missile, in this instance) over the surface of the earth
    is proposed. The elements which such a system could have are
    described."
    
    What I can't figure out is how do you get volunteers with sextants to
    ride along in the nosecones of the guided missiles? Also, considering
    it would take 45 minutes to work up such a position using the
    technology available in 1950, wouldn't it be just a bit too late for a
    guided missile? Ah well, maybe the "elements which such a system could
    have" included digital cameras and microcomputers. 
    
    And fans of semi-academic journals will be happy to know that
    Thompson's article was apparently published in the Sep/Dec 1951 issue
    of "Navigation", the journal of the Institute of Navigation. I haven't
    been able to find a library that has old issues. Anyone?
    
    -FER
    
    
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