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


    17apr(apr 17)6:30 pm21(apr 21)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2001 and 2002

    19apr(apr 19)8:00 am23(apr 23)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Red Sprite Group

    24apr(apr 24)6:30 pm28(apr 28)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2003 and 2101

    26apr(apr 26)8:00 am30(apr 30)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Blue Jet Group


    01may8:00 am05(may 5)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

    06may(may 6)8:00 am09(may 9)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 104: Advanced Egress - Spacesuit Landing and Post-Landing Testing

    10may(may 10)8:00 am12(may 12)5:00 pmOPS 104 On-Site Mission Simulation TrainingOn-Site compliment to OPS 104 Orbital Mechanics and Mission Simulation using the IIAS Orion simulator to provide high-fidelity simulation of ISS rendezvous and docking missions.

    13may(may 13)8:00 am16(may 16)5:00 pmEVA 105 Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory EVA Operations CampaignOn-Site compliment to EVA 105 Fundamentals of Underwater EVA Operations using the IIAS Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. This NAUI-certified prepares on to evaluate actual EVA space suits in analog underwater conditions.

    17may(may 17)8:00 am21(may 21)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 103 Microgravity Research CampaignMicrogravity Research Campaign supporting the IIAS BIO 103 Program

    25may(may 25)8:00 am28(may 28)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

    29may01junEVA 103 Planetary Field Geology Field CampaignEVA 103 course covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology


    06jun(jun 6)8:00 am12(jun 12)5:00 pmFTE 102 Fixed-Wing Performance Flight Test CampaignOn-Site compliment to FTE 102 Fixed-Wing Performance Flight Testing using Turbo Mooney aircraft.

    13jun(jun 13)8:00 am19(jun 19)5:00 pmFTE 103 Fixed-Wing Stability and Control Flight Test CampaignOn-Site compliment to the FTE 102 Fixed-Wing Stability and Control Flight Test Course using Turbo Mooney, Piper Twin, and Pitts S2B aircraft.


    10julAll Day20FeaturedAER 103 Noctilucent Cloud Imagery Field Research CampaignField campaign as part of AER 103, Airborne Noctilucent Cloud Imagery course to study noctilucent cloud formations through coordinated ground, airborne, and balloon observations.


    01nov8:00 am05(nov 5)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

    © 2021 International Institute for Astronautical Sciences