US Navy to teach celestial navigation again

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

sextant_410According to reports the US Navy is going to teach its seamen the use of celestial navigation again and it going to employs charts and the relevant instruments again.

Aside from apparently doing away with this necessary navigational skill in the first place it would appear that they are beginning – finally – to realize that satellite navigation and other such technology is not all what it is made out to be.

Satellite navigation (GPS) depends on three different satellites (geo-stationary ones) for it to work properly and all it requires is for one, for some reason or other, to fail and ships or troops left in the dark, so to speak.

We could see this in action already some years back when the British forces in Helmand Province in Afghanistan could not leave their base at Camp Bastion for several weeks because the satellites for the GPS compasses were down. It seems map and compass of the old school are no longer taught and in use either. Help!

With the constant rise in cyber attacks ships and also and especially aircraft are in serious danger of having their systems hacked. While ships may just get lost a little – though could then fall prey to pirates or, in case of battleships, the enemy – a plane could be taken over from the ground or caused to crash.

Too many drivers everywhere also really far too much on the satellite navigation devices and so often get lost simply because the system is not doing it right. More and more people can today no longer even read a map and thus are unable to use it for driving or walking and do not even get me started at the fact that the use of a compass for way too many is a total enigma.

I do not here even want to talk about other problems that our overuse of technology can lead us to and indeed is leading us to and also not about the cycber threats to shipping, for instance, because of the reliance of satellite navigation and communication rather than on the more old-fashioned navigational skills and shortwave radio for communication.

© 2016