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    Re: History of The Air Almanac
    From: Jeremy C
    Date: 2010 Nov 25, 03:42 EST
    This is all speculation Frank, but why does the Navy still spend the massive amount of resources to distribute pallets worth of paper charts to the far flung ports of the world if they could easily make it all digital and send CD-ROM's (which they also do)?  Is tradition THAT strong?
    We can endlessly list doomsday scenarios, but I for one will always feel more comfortable if I can at least have the following on the bridge: Magnetic compass, paper chart (even if it's a plotting sheet), dividers and a pair of triangles, bearing circle, sextant, NA, HO 229, and a battery operated chronometer/wristwatch.  I can get us anywhere with those tools.
    In a message dated 11/24/2010 11:24:27 A.M. Central Asia Standard Ti, FrankReed@HistoricalAtlas.com writes:

    Jeremy, you wrote:
    " The reason for this is the USN will probably never go 100% digital due to vulnerability during war."

    I really don't buy this. It's too similar to old arguments from the latter half of the nineteenth century saying that navies would never give up lunars because chronometers could be deranged by concussions from naval artillery. Also, celestial is not even close to a real backup for the sort of position-finding provided by GPS and other GNSS systems. The accuracy of (non-digital, non-electronic) celestial is much lower, fixes are few and far between, and it's useless under clouds. The vulnerability of GPS in war is, however, a guarantee that other high-accuracy navigation systems will be (are being) fielded. Celestial navigation will always have SOME place in the navigator's set of tools, as a backup for the backup for the first-line backup to the primary positioning system, whether a GNSS system or something else.


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