# NavList:

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

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Re: typical standard deviation?
From: M v Noorden
Date: 2009 Aug 13, 02:07 -0700

```>EXCELLENT!  I am afraid that with so few people such as myself out  here
who actually practice celnav, our hopes for at sea data are fairly
slim,
especially from the larger vessels.

>I wouldn't expect to find such data. During the history of celestial
there was no other data that the celnav positions could have been
compared with to develop such an accuracy data set. Really, only since
the development of GPS (maybe LORAN C) has such another set of
positions
become available so only now can such data be developed. But how many
navigators continued to use celnav on a regular basis and then logged
the accuracy of the celnav position derived after comparison with the
contemporary GPS positions and then made their logs available.

Acually you don't need an exact GPS nor a hugh amount of people to
estimate the error. A good way of doing the analysis would be to use
what is called a 'MSA' (Measurement System Analysis) and is used in
industry to distinguish between operator errors and machine errors. A
simple setup would involve one sextant, one ship and 2 or 3 operators.
The operators (users) will shoot in random orders with the same
instrument and calculate their position. The total variance (square of
the standard deviation) is the sum of the variance of the inter
operator error and the error caused by the measurement setup.

If you want to include all types of potential errors due to for
instance horizon (as mentioned above), you can either instruct the
operators very well (the error will be in the test setup) or not at
all (the error will be in the operator part).

If the experiment is carried out at the same location, no GPS fix is
needed or desired, it will add an extra variance to the equation (but
probably very small)

If somebody is willing to carry out this experiment, I am more than
happy to assist with the statistical part.

Regards,

Maarten van Noorden

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