A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Ed Popko
Date: 2016 Mar 28, 12:13 -0700
Over the Easter holidays, I had a chance to revisit the "Time and Navigation - The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There" exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC. Many exhibits have been updated since my first visit a year and half ago. There is now a Smithsonian Book based on the exhibit entitled "Time and Navigation" by authors Johnston, Connor, Stephens and Ceruzzi (no ISBN number is given for the book).
The exhibition is roughly divided into the following thematic areas:
- Time and Place connection
- Navigating at Sea
- Navigating int the Air
- Navigating in Space
- Inventing Satellite Navigation
- Navigation for Everyone
As you would imagine, the exhibition is a heavily biased "American" view. However, overlooking this, there are many well done vignettes and the collection of instruments is quite good.
Below are my exhibition notes. And please, no comments about omissions in the "Time Line of Navigation" wrap-around exhibit at the end.
If you have the opportunity to visit Air&Space, you will find this exhibit well worth touring.
Navigation at Sea
- Challenging the High Seas
- Navigating Without a Clock
- Dead Reckoning
- Charts and Instruments for Dead Reckoning
- Looking to the Sun and Stars
- Longitude Problem
- Observing the Sky
- Finding Location by Observing the Moon
Practical sea clocks
A Brief History of Timekeepers
Chronomaters with Balance wheel and hairspring
Wristwatch quartz tuning fork
Cesium 133 atomic clock
Rubidium Frequency Standard (Atomic Clock) about 1974
Quartz Wristwatch 1969
Cesium Frequency Standard (Atomic Clock) 2012
America's First Sea-Going Chronometer
US Goes to Sea
- Line of Position
1837 Captain Sumner (of Boston)
- William Cranch Bond
US Clock Maker
1st Director of Harvard College Observatory 1839
War 1812 clocks used
Clocks powered by falling weight
- Charles Wilkes Expedition
Mapping the Pacific Ocean and Antartica
Mapmaking aboard the USS Porpoise
In the Air
- The Era of Transoceanic Flight Begins
War, commerce curiosity
- Harder than Sea
Weather, instability, speed, cockpit environment
How did Navigators Shoot the Sun and Stars
- Kollsman D-1 Periscopic Sextant
- US Navy Pioneer Mark 4 Averaging Octant
- Adapt marine sextant
- Perescope or bubble sextants
- Pioneer Drift Meter
Navigator in a Box
- SR-71 spy plane Nortronics NAS-14-V2 star tracker
updates Inertial Guidance System
Flying the Beam
Evolution of Radio Nav Equipment
Radio Compass 1935
Range Radio 1939
Nav Radar 1944
Loran-C 1981 (WWII development)
Tuskegee Airman cadets 1944
Dead Reckoning Celestial and Radio
US Navy Pioneer
Mark 4 Averaging Octant
Pioneer Drift Meter
US Navy Drift Angle Meter
Pioneer Earth Indicator Compass (developed by Albert Hegenberger 1920s for Army Air Service)
Teaching Lindberg Navigation - PV Horn Weems
Meet the Teacher - Philip Van Horn Weems
Lindbergh's New Tools for Navigation
Weems Second-Setting Watches 1927
Waltham-Navy Weems Second-Setting
Modified Torpedo Boat Watch
Longines-Wittnauer Weems Second-Setting Watch design
Sidereal Time Model
US Navy Observatory Quartz Clocks
PVH Weems - The Unheralded Teacher of Aviation's Celeberties
- Albert Hegenberger
- Amy Johnson
- Ann Lindberg
- Charles Blair
- Charles Zweig
- Curtis LeMay
- Ed Link
- Fred Noonan
- Harold Gatty
- Henry "Dick" Merrill
- Lincoln Ellsworth
- Lisette Kapri
- Mary Tornich
- Peter Redpath
- Philip Dalton
- Richard Boyd
- Thomas Thurlow
Two Men in a Hurry - Post and Gatty
Meet The Navigator Harold Gatty
Cross Section diagram of Winnie Mae
Showing pilot-navigator positions and work areas
Link A-12 Sextant
Louis Levin B-2 Drift Indicator
Dalton E-1B Dead Reckoning Computer
1932 Air Almanac or Weems
Bigrave Position-Line Slide Rule
Navigation and World at War
Mark IIB Polaris Drift Sight (replaces Gatty-style indicator)
Mark V Sextant (averaging sextant)
Mark IV Aircraft Float Light Smoke Producing flair used as drift indicator
over water used in late 1930s through WWII
Mark 3A Plotting Board (Navy planes and aircraft carrier position plotter)
2V-1 Radio Homing Adapter
The Problem of Nautical Aviation
"Tracking both their own and their ship's location"
B-3 Drift Meter
Air Position Indicator
An 5740 Master Navigation Chronometer
Mark IB Astrograph British-invented
determines altitude curves for principal stars
Astrocompass Mark II
E6B Dead Reckoning Computer (refinement of Dalton Mark VII)
Design very successful, sill in production/use today
Amelia Earhart first civilian use of radio direction finding
What is LORAN - Why was LORAN Such A Milestone?
A new system went from using mechanical based time
measured in seconds to using radio frequency-based
time measured in microseconds ...
Top Secret technology during WW II
Range 1400 miles by night, 750 by day
Accuracy due to crystal oscillator
Equipment made to resist changes in temperature, salt, humidity and motion
HO-221 LORAN Time Lines
By 1925, more than 3,000 ships were using Loran
Alfred Loomis and Loran display
Type 62A GEE Mark II Indicator Unit (used by
British Royal Airforce and US Eight Air Force)
AN/APN-4 LORAN Set
Navy in Space
Project Mercury Earth Path Indicator
Astronavigator by Ed Collins
Apollo Sextant and Scanning Telescope
Space Shuttle Star Tracker
Meet the Navigator - James A Lovell Jr.
Inventing Satellite Navigation
Sequential Collation of Range Sector US Army 1964-69
Plan 621B 1960s
Timation System (Time & Navigation)
Transit by John Hopkins, based on Doppler shift
Meet the Navigator - Charles Stark Draper
How did the USS Alabama Navigate (submarine)
- System of Mardan Computer and INS
- Ship's Inertial Navigation System (SINS)
with Stable Platform and Housing Assembly
GPS For All
- Magellan Corp history of innovation
- Experimental Chip-Size Atomic Clock by DARPA
- Commercial Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC)
GPS Transforms U.S. Military Operations
The Army and GPS in Afghanistan
Precision Lightweight GPS Reciever (PLGR)
Defense Advance GPS Receiver (DAGR)
PSN-9 Manpack GPS Receiver
Evasion Chart (with GPS markers)
How the NIST-7 Atomic Clocks Work?
Mapping Terrain and Vehicle Navigation
Honeywell R!-16 T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle (MAV)
An Autonomous air vehicle uses GPS and INS for observation missions.
Time Line of Navigation (Wrap-around Story Board)
1280 First appearances of weight driven clocks
1310 Earliest reference to a sandglass.
1450 Spring driven clocks appear.
1482 Earliest reference to a watch.
1514 Johannes Werner proposes the lunar distance method for finding longitude.
1530 Gemma Frisius suggests using a clock for finding longitude.
1567 King Phillip II of Spain offers prize for method of finding Longitude at Sea
1596 King Philip III of Spain increases sum of the longitude prize.
1600 & 1601 Dutch Republic and States of Holland offer separate longitude prizes.
1610 Galileo Galilei discovers Jupiter’s Moons
1649 Galileo's son Vincenzo builds a model of his father's idea for pendulum clock.
1657 Christiaan Huygens invents a working pendulum clock.
1675 Robert Hook and Christiaan Huygens independently invent a watch balance spring.
1675 Royal Observatory founded in Greenwich, England.
1680 Watches with minutes and second hands appear.
1714 English Parliament and French Academie des Sciences establish separate longitude prizes.
1761-62 First sea trials of John Harrison's H4 demonstrate the feasibility of a sea clock.
1762 Harrison H4 Clock
1766 Pierre Le Roy creates a sea clock with modern features.
1802 Nathaniel Bowditch first publishes his navigation handbook.
1815 William Cranch Bond finishes a chronometer, the first made in America to go to sea.
1830 U.S. Navy's Depot of Charts and Instruments (later the U.S. Naval Observatory) founded.
1841 Alexander Bain receives the first patent for an electric clock.
1843 Matthaeus Hipp invents an electric pendulum clock.
1883 Standard Railway Time adoped in North America.
1884 International Meridian Conference suggests Greenwich as the Prime Meridian.
1905 Albert Einstein publishes theory of special relativity.
1913-14 Longitude distance between France and U.S. fixed by radio time signlas.
1916 Henry Warren patents the modern electric clock with synchronous motor that runs on house current.
1920 National Bureau of Standards begins broadcasting time on radio station WWV.
1927 Warren Morrison and J.W. Horton make the first quartz clock at Bell Telephone Labs.
1944 LORAN fully operational.
1949 First atomic clock demonstrated at National Bureau of Standards (now NIST).
1967 The second, once a fraction of the solar day, is redefined as atomic time.
1969 Seiko sells the first quartz watch.
1972 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) established.
1974 Naval Research Laboratory prepares the atomic clocks for use in space.
1995 Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation fully operational.
2004 First demonstration of a chip.