Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, October 19, 2015

About Frigging Time, Navy

The US navy is reinstating classes on celestial navigation for all new recruits, teaching the use of sextants – instruments made of mirrors used to calculate angles and plot directions – because of rising concerns that computers used to chart courses could be hacked or malfunction.
I don't know how one could call oneself a "mariner" without knowing celestial nav.

7 comments:

Marc said...

The GPS of cel phone is used to target drone strikes. There was an exercise where one of the players had orders routed through messengers on (I think) motorbikes. Slower than a phone call, but since the opposition player expected reliance on modern communications technology, he was blindsided by the low tech 'solution' to 'targeted' strikes. Needless to say, they changed the rules to game the outcome of the exercise to what was desired - ignoring the innovative solution and trying to counter it. At least the Navy understands you can't hack a sextant - unlike a satellite or computer. Reality based backup solution to a modern reality,

3383 said...

Or operator error; see KAL 007.

I am not surprised by the no worries over an EMP or anything. Hard won experience from 1942 mandated (among other things) cotton uniforms; what idiot would allow synthetic working uniforms a few years ago?

Comrade Misfit said...

3383, institutional memory is rather short-lived. And yes, synthetic working uniforms on a ship are a bad idea.

BadTux said...

The best uniforms would be made of wool. Wool smolders, it doesn't burn. Unfortunately wool is also very hot and scratchy. Cotton with an anti-flame treatment is an acceptable compromise. Synthetics? WTF?

S O said...

Sextants are rather useles under heavy clouds, though.
Properly insulated inertial navigation systems should be much superior to jamemd GPS and Sextants at the same time. Sextants could beat INS' accuracy only after thousands of miles and with good weather.

CenterPuke88 said...

An INS could be knocked out...but if you know how to use a sextant, even if you don't have one, you can make some pretty good calculations with very simple items (paper or similar, pencil or similar, a couple of sticks). It's nowhere close to exact, but once you know the principles...

DTWND said...

I teach my students to use a pencil, chart, clock, and the trusty E6B. If they want to let those skills deteriorate after getting licensed, well that's on them. But in the event the electrons stop flowing, perhaps they'll remember not to get lost.

Dale