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
    Re: Susceptibility of GPS to CME, Rationale for CN?
    From: Francis Upchurch
    Date: 2018 Oct 1, 04:07 +0100

    I've never thought that CN was a real world back up and do not need that for a 
    rationale. For me it is an interesting hobby and  traditional skill. That is 
    justification enough to keep it going. How many keen amateur astronomers are 
    doing it for any practical purpose other than enjoyment? Sailing a yacht is 
    not a very useful, efficient or necessary  mode of  transport. We do it for 
    fun. Modern humans need to have fun to survive happily. That is my rationale. 
    Trying to sell CN as a realistic back up to young navigators is unlikely to 
    succeed. They don't believe it.(nor do I). Selling it as a great hobby and 
    traditional skill set, like many over sailing activities , may well help keep 
    it going. My kids love it. They also love fishing with rod and line. Not 
    because they need to feed a survival family. Just for fun and the occasional 
    fresh grilled bass! Have fun now, it is later than you think.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Brad Morris
    Sent: 30 September 2018 23:46
    To: francis{at}pharmout.co.uk
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Susceptibility of GPS to CME, Rationale for CN?
    The Carrington Event of 1859 was the largest solar event in the last 500
    years, according to one of the articles.  The next largest event was less
    than 1/2 the magnitude.  Several other recent events were mentioned.  One
    of those recent events produced an outage in GNSS lasting 10 minutes.
    Your point regarding cloud cover does play very strongly into this
    discussion.  Relying upon CN as a backup is only useful when it can provide
    a fix.  I would further suggest the *duration* of the outage also may
    preclude the use of CN as a backup.  If the event duration is less than the
    time during which we can get an AM or PM fix, then CN didn't serve as a
    backup.  Having an occluded sky permits the GNSS outage to last longer
    before CN can be a backup.
    While it would be fantastic to have an independent backup, nothing but CN
    provides 100% world coverage.  eLoran isn't going to provide anywhere near
    that level of global coverage. To your point, CN provides sporadic data,
    orders of magnitude less frequent than GNSS.  Cloud cover impacts the
    My objective these past few weeks has been to find a rationale for CN.  I
    have been poking at every possible cause I can think of to provide a case
    for CN, looking for failure modes in the GNSS system.  This latest line of
    questions with Dr. Langley has shown, to my opinion anyway, that we cannot
    hang that rationale on a solar event.  Suggesting that a mariner prepare
    and practice CN for a 'once in 500 year' event is a bridge too far.  The
    more recent events provided in the recommended articles suggest that CN
    will not be the backup, again, in my opinion.  Outages lasting 10 minutes
    or providing small fix errors due to propagation delays will never provide
    a reasonable rationale for CN.  In my view, solar events are a dead end.  I
    was hoping Dr. Langley, with his far better understanding of the GNSS
    system, would concur on those points.
    I absolutely understand that rendering an opinion that CN is not a backup
    for GNSS is heresy.  We are a CN group.  The statement is contrary to our
    purpose.  If we wish to really preserve CN, then we need to come up with a
    rationale that CN is a backup because ...[ *please fill in this blank* ].
    As our group euphemistically 'ages out of the system', the count of
    practitioners of CN will approach 0.  Of course, the mandated licensing
    requirements will keep CN alive on life support, but these aren't
    practitioners.  The bulk of them study to pass the exam, then put the book
    On Sun, Sep 30, 2018, 3:03 PM David Pike  wrote:
    > *Brad you wrote: "Given your (meaning Dr. Langley's) knowledge of the GNSS
    > system and its susceptibility to solar events, is celestial navigation a
    > prudent backup to GPS navigation if a solar event occurs?" *
    > Brad
    > I don’t think you can suggest alternates to cover the extremely remote
    > possibility of World wide temporary failure of all GNSS systems without
    > first looking at the reliability of the suggested alternative itself.  In
    > the case of CN, before even looking at accuracy, we need to look at
    > availability.  For most people operating at the Earth’s surface, the
    > probability of the sky being obscured by cloud (as it is for me right now)
    > must be many orders greater than the possibility of GNSS being
    > unavailable.  Don’t we read in the maritime classics of vessels standing
    > into danger because of the Sun being obscured for days at a time?  The
    > situation was different for aircraft flying above the troposphere where CN
    > was available most of the time and in mid-ocean was of comparative accuracy
    > with existing systems well into the 1980s.  Have an alternative to GNSS
    > by all means, but choose one which will be viable to most users most of the
    > time, not just in choice locations like the Arizona Desert or with star
    > trackers which can work though cloud.  A good question to ask in this
    > particular situation is how might e-Loran be affected by intense solar
    > events?  DaveP
    > View and reply to this message
    View and reply to this message: 

    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