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    Re: Sextant accuracy and possibility of future improvement
    From: Paul Dolkas
    Date: 2016 Jul 19, 21:15 -0700

    Frank-

     

    I think the SR-71 has been there, done that:  https://timeandnavigation.si.edu/multimedia-asset/nortronics-nas-14v2-astroinertial-navigation-system 

     

    I’ve read that it could detect stars under a blue sky.

     

    Paul Dolkas

     

    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Frank Reed
    Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 3:39 PM
    To: paul{at}dolkas.net
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Sextant accuracy and possibility of future improvement

     

    I wrote earlier:
    "And as we have discussed many times before, modern military aircraft, like US B2 bomber, that fly in the stratosphere, have automated celestial navigation "turrets" built into their wings which can scan dozens of stars per minute generating continuous high-accuracy fixes under many circumstances --don't try this in a dogfight, and, just as above, it won't work down in the troposphere if you're flying under clouds."

    I spotted an article a few minutes ago from the public affairs office of a unit at Edwards Air Force Base. They're testing a navigation pod of some sort. Here's what they have to say about it:

    "One of the current projects the pod is facilitating is the exploration of alternate navigation systems. Most electronic navigation systems rely on GPS. Should this, for any reason, become unavailable, then a backup system is always helpful. According to Carroll, this new method involves the aircraft looking at the stars overhead to help determine its position, much like sailors traditionally used a sextant, and simultaneously looking at the ground like Google Earth."

    That's all there is on navigation, but if you're interested you can read the rest of the press release here.

    Frank Reed

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