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    Re: USNO celestial navigation algorithms
    From: Stacy Hanna
    Date: 2003 Jun 2, 21:37 -0400

    According to the 2002 edition of Bowditch it does appear that those
    algorithms are used in STELLA. I will look at the documentation with
    STELLA at work tomorrow and see if I can find more information.
    "U.S. Naval navigators have access to a program called
    STELLA (System To Estimate Latitude and Longitude Astronomically;
    do not confuse with a commercial astronomy
    program with the same name). STELLA was developed by
    the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval
    Observatory based on a Navy requirement. The
    algorithms used in STELLA provide an accuracy of one
    arc-second on the Earth's surface, a distance of about 30
    meters. While this accuracy is far better than can be obtained
    using a sextant, it does support possible naval needs
    for automated navigation systems based on celestial objects.
    These algorithms take into account the oblateness of
    the Earth, movement of the vessel during sight-taking, and
    other factors not fully addressed by traditional methods.
    STELLA can perform almanac functions, position updating/
    DR estimations, celestial body rise/set/transit
    calculations, compass error calculations, sight planning,
    and sight reduction. On-line help and user's guide are included,
    and it is a component of the Block III NAVSSI.
    Because STELLA logs all entered data for future reference,
    it is authorized to replace the Navy Navigation Workbook.
    STELLA is now an allowance list requirement for Naval
    ships, and is available from:
    U.S. Naval Observatory
    Code: AA/STELLA
    3450 Massachusetts Ave. NW
    Washington, DC, 20392-5420"
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Navigation Mailing List
    [mailto:NAVIGATION-L@LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM] On Behalf Of Paul Hirose
    Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 1:49 PM
    Subject: USNO celestial navigation algorithms
    Seen on the U.S. Naval Observatory Web site:
    "As part of a Navy software project, new algorithms for celestial
    navigation have been developed. These algorithms are based on a
    solution to a familiar astronomical problem - determining the orbit of
    a body from a series of observations. In this case, the body in
    question is a ship and its orbit is a rhumb-line track over the
    spheroidal surface of the Earth. Given suitably accurate observing
    systems, these algorithms would provide sight reduction and positional
    fixes at the one arcsecond (30 meter) level of precision."
    The algorithms were published in four papers by G.H. Kaplan, published
    1995 - 1996. Two are available online. Reprints of all may be ordered
    from the USNO.
    Several months ago I mentioned a whiz-bang celestial nav program
    called STELLA, which unfortunately is in the military-only area of the
    USNO site. I wonder if STELLA is based on the algorithms in these

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