Special Topic: Celestial Navigation

Special Topic: Celestial Navigation


    The IIAS Special Topic course on Celestial Navigation includes practical instruction in celestial navigation and how it pertains to suborbital and orbital imaging imaging and remote sensing missions. The course provides the skills necessary to navigate by use of a sextant and sight reduction tables. Topics include: selecting stars for navigation, use of a sextant, use of correction factors (e.g. refraction, dip, instrument error), use of sight reduction tables, and the determination of longitude and latitude using an Earth-based coordinate system.


    Topics covered are:

    1. Explanation of time zones and how to convert standard and zone time to GMT.
    2. The how the sextant works measures the arc from body to horizon.
    3. Index error, dip and altitude correction for Sun, Moon, Stars and Planet.
    4. Calculate time of meridian passage of the Sun for any given Longitude.
    5. Calculation of times of Sunrise, Sunset, and Twilight.
    6. Observers Latitude by Sun noon or twilight Polaris sights.
    7. Construction of a chart from a blank sheet of paper.
    8. Construction of a Universal Plotting Sheet.
    9. Solving the Celestial triangle using H.O. 249 tables.
    10. Solving the Celestial triangle using S-tables (included in the Nautical Almanac so you do not need the H.O. 249 tables).
    11. Determining Latitude and Longitude using any of the following celestial bodies – sun, moon, planets and 53 navigational stars.
    12. Plotting of Celestial L.O.P. on a Universal Plotting Sheet using simultaneous sights or running sight methods.
    13. Determination of Azimuths and Altitude of navigational bodies at twilight.
    14. Calculation of Compass Deviation using Celestial bodies.
    15. Computing Great Circle routes.
    16. Setting up and using an artificial horizon.

    2021 Course Schedule


    07dec(dec 7)8:00 am11(dec 11)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 103 Microgravity Research CampaignMicrogravity Research Campaign supporting the IIAS BIO 103 Program


    15jan(jan 15)6:30 pm20(jan 20)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2001 and 2002

    18jan(jan 18)8:00 am22(jan 22)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Red Sprite Group

    22jan(jan 22)6:30 pm27(jan 27)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2003

    25jan(jan 25)8:00 am29(jan 29)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Blue Jet Group

    30jan(jan 30)8:00 am03feb(feb 3)5:00 pmOPS 102 Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations On-SiteOn-site compliment to OPS 102 course providing aircraft egress and sea survial training to complement post-landing human space flight system engineering instruction


    04feb(feb 4)8:00 am08(feb 8)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 104: Advanced Egress - Spacesuit Landing and Post-Landing Testing


    24apr(apr 24)8:00 am27(apr 27)3:00 pmEVA 103 Planetary Field Geology Field CampaignEVA 103 course covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology

    28apr(apr 28)8:00 am02may(may 2)5:00 pmEVA 102 Operational Space Medicine Field CampaignField component to cover wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with a 4-day on-site lab portion devoted to triage, scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine


    03may(may 3)8:00 am07(may 7)5:00 pmFeaturedEVA 104 Gravity-Offset EVA Space Suit Evaluation CampaignGravity-offset research campaign to evaluate the Final Frontier Design EVA space suit by applying the tools and techniques developed through EVA 102 and EVA 103 courses

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