Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


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

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Smithsonian "Time and Navigation" exhibit updated
    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
        Sea Clocks
        Early Clocks
    - Observing the Sky
    - Finding Location by Observing the Moon
        Dividing engine
        Harrison's Clocks
        Practical sea clocks

    A Brief History of Timekeepers
         Pendulum Clocks
        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)
        1843 Publishes
    - 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
        Northwest Coast
        Mapmaking aboard the USS Porpoise
        "Scientifics" crew

    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
    - Astrodome
    - 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
        VOR 1955
        Loran-C 1981 (WWII development)
        GPS 1995

    Tuskegee Airman cadets 1944

        Dead Reckoning Celestial and Radio
        Kollsmann D-1
        Periscope Sextant
        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

    New Tools
        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
        A-10A Sextant
        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
        Master/slave stations
        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.

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    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 Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    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