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Origins and Primary Areas of Navigation, Continued - 14220_21
Origins and Primary Areas of Navigation, Continued Dead Reckoning Dead  reckoning  (DR)  can  be  defined  as  projecting  an  intended  course and  speed  from  a  known  point.  As  our  early  navigators  ventured  further from  land,  they  needed  a  method  to  estimate  position.  With  no  visible landmarks  to  use  as  a  reference,  early  navigators  estimated  course  and speed  on  the  chart.  Dead  reckoning  does  not  consider  the  effects  of wind or current. Figure  1-1  illustrates  a  sample  DR  plot.  From  the  0800  fix  the  ship’s course  and  speed  is  plotted.  A  DR  plot  is  maintained  on  board  naval vessels  under  way  at  all  times. It  is  the  best  estimate  of  where  the  ship should  be  at  any  given  time. The  DR  plot  also  gives  the  navigator  a visual  sign  of  whether  the  ship  is  steering  towards  danger  or  not.  The DR  plot  will  be  covered  in  greater  detail  in  chapter  8. Figure  1-1.  Example  of  a  DR  track. Celestial Navigation Celestial  navigation  may  be  defined  as  the  practice  of  observing  celestial bodies  (the  Sun,  Moon,  stars,  and  planets)  to  determine  the  ship’s position. The  early  navigators  recognized  the  need  to  overcome  the  shortcomings of dead reckoning. They  soon  developed  techniques  to  observe  the heavenly  bodies  to  determine  their  position.  Although  the  instruments used  first  were  crude,  they  have  steadily  improved.  An  experienced  QM may  now  obtain  a  celestial  fix  within  one-tenth  of  a  mile  of  the  ship’s position. 1-4

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