Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.

NavList:

A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Message:αβγ
Message:abc
Add Images & Files
    or...
       
    Reply
    Re: Quartz article: reinstating celestial...
    From: Ken Gebhart
    Date: 2015 Oct 21, 21:57 -0500
    I agree.  During my exhibition at the Annapolis Sail Boat show I spoke to someone high up in the Seamanship and Navigation Dept. at USNA. He confirmed that so far they have been using 249 for sight reduction. Apart from the Rand Think Tank advising that any digital system henceforth should have an analog back up due to cyber mischief, I think the USNA people are glad to get back to teaching traditional methods that should be part of any Naval Officer's professional education.
    On Oct 21, 2015, at 2:07 PM, Lu Abel wrote:

    Excellent insights as usual, Frank.

    If it wasn't apparent from my inquiry about the sight reduction methods that would be used for the USNA course I, too, was wondering what sort of scenario would lead to a practical need for celestial.

    For example, in a reply to my post Robert Eno suggested that the midshipmen wold be doing LOC reductions using a scientific calculator.    But if I look at the guts of a calculator vs a GPS set, they're identical -- a battery, a keyboard, a display, and a chip that provides the functionality.  There's no real difference except the functionality embedded in the chip and I can imagine no scenario where only GPS chips are fried. 

    But there's something organic about pre-GPS navigation where awareness of one's surroundings (whether on shore or in the sky) and use of them is the way one obtains a position.  Not just some numbers on some electronic display, God-only-knows-how-they-got-there. 

    So, yeah, tradition and awareness -- not necessarily practical needs -- are very likely the motivation for the resumption of teaching Celestial at the US Naval Academy.

    Lu





    From: Frank Reed <NoReply_FrankReed@fer3.com>
    To: luabel{at}ymail.com
    Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 6:52 PM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Quartz article: reinstating celestial...

    Dave Pike, you wrote:
    "On celestial being a back-up for loss of GNSS. Unless the USN has a device that can guarantee clear skies at all times, celestial is a pretty unreliable back-up. This leads me back to my original suggestion that this is as much to do with maintaining standards, engendering confidence in tyro navigating officers, and inculcating a strong sense of the traditions of the USN from John Barry and John Paul Jones onwards as with GNSS loss. The obvious short-term replacement for temporary loss of GNSS is SINS or eLoran, if available, and if all else fails, there’s dead-reckoning." 
    I agree with your suggestion about motivations, and I agree with your assessment on the appropriate sequence of replacements for navigation methods. The Naval Academy has an actual semester-length course devoted to USN history. History matters to them. Also, I think it's important to remember that the US Naval Academy is not a "trade school". It endeavors to be a general education institution, not quite liberal arts, but much more broad than what one might expect from a military academy and even more broad than the expectations for an engineering college. They aim to create officers who are ambassadors of a sort for the USA, as well as competent mariners. If you look at the course listings on their web site, it's much more than a school for naval officers. The topic of celestial navigation certainly fits in with the broad aims of education at Annapolis even if there is no expectation of practical value from the subject.
    I worry that some folks are reading too much into the tea leaves on this story (not here, but particularly in other media coverage). It's just one school, and it's a navigation education program with limited aims. This news tells us next to nothing about navigational practice.
    Frank Reed
    ReedNavigation.com


    View and reply to this message


       
    Reply
    Browse Files

    Drop Files

    NavList

    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    Name:
    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Email:
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.
    Email:

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Subject:
    Author:
    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site