AER 102 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:
- Explanation of time zones and how to convert standard and zone time to GMT.
- The how the sextant works measures the arc from body to horizon.
- Index error, dip and altitude correction for Sun, Moon, Stars and Planet.
- Calculate time of meridian passage of the Sun for any given Longitude.
- Calculation of times of Sunrise, Sunset, and Twilight.
- Observers Latitude by Sun noon or twilight Polaris sights.
- Construction of a chart from a blank sheet of paper.
- Construction of a Universal Plotting Sheet.
- Solving the Celestial triangle using H.O. 249 tables.
- Solving the Celestial triangle using S-tables (included in the Nautical Almanac so you do not need the H.O. 249 tables).
- Determining Latitude and Longitude using any of the following celestial bodies – sun, moon, planets and 53 navigational stars.
- Plotting of Celestial L.O.P. on a Universal Plotting Sheet using simultaneous sights or running sight methods.
- Determination of Azimuths and Altitude of navigational bodies at twilight.
- Calculation of Compass Deviation using Celestial bodies.
- Computing Great Circle routes.
- Setting up and using an artificial horizon.