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    Re: automatic celestial navigation
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2007 Dec 6, 15:45 -0000

    Frank Jones wrote-
    | I recently noted in the November 22, 2007 issue of EDN (Electronic
    | Design News - <>), page 19 a brief announcement
    | regarding a MEMS-based (microelectromechanical-system)
    | inclinometer apparently capable of accurately measuring the
    | deviation from vertical by sensing the downward G force.  The
    | device/s is described as an Analog Devices (<>)
    | ADIS16209.
    | All the key elements are obviously available to designers for
    | construction of an advanced sextant now, even one that
    | automatically tracks objects day or night.  I suspect a gimballed
    | arrangement would make the software engineering easier although
    | it might be avoided at the expense of much more complicated
    | tracking schemes.  I recently saw optical sensors for similar
    | systems go for several hundred dollars each on eBay.  The cost of a
    | 'new' sensor like these in small quantities would be much pricer.
    Comment from George-
    If they have somehow succeeded in disentangling the "downward G force" from
    all the other accelerations that apply to a sextant in a vessel in waves on
    the sea, then there may be a future in it. But I doubt if they have. In
    which case, it would suffer from all the defects of a pendulum or spirit
    level or other form of artificial horizon, that render them all unusable at
    contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
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