Tuesday, January 13, 2015

FTV Global Positioning System (GPS) tools for Navigation

Much like the GPS in your car or on your smart phone, the ship has several GPS units for navigation of the vessel. The GPS units are located on the ships Bridge. We have multiple GPS units aboard and each one has an antenna located on the flying bridge (uppermost deck of the vessel). 
GPS is used today in navigation because of its accuracy and dependability. On board the Kennedy, the cadets use more manual forms of navigation just to gain practical skills in charting and celestial navigation (navigating by stars).
GPS units work off of satellites that are placed by the US Government in space. The GPS units get a signal from a combination of satellite and land based stations. GPS units can give you a position with guaranteed accuracy of about 5-10 meters. Back in the days of wooden ships and Iron men, GPS technology would have been considered out of this world. Now a days it is a common practice and not only do many recreational boats have GPS units, but most folks are carrying them around in their phones! GPS has revolutionized navigation for mariners and made the seas safer.

Find out more on how the Global Positioning System works?

Where Is Here? In this lesson, you will learn the basic concepts of relative and absolute location, latitude, longitude and cardinal directions as well as the use and principles of a map and compass.

Navigating by the Numbers Math is important in navigation and engineering. Ancient land and sea navigators started with the most basic of navigation equations (speed x time = distance). Today, navigational satellites use equations that take into account the relative effects of space and time. However, even these high-tech wonders designed by engineers cannot be created without pure and simple math concepts

Navigating at the Speed of Satellites Investigate the fundamental concepts of GPS technology — trilateration and using the speed of light to calculate distances

Navigation By the North Star: Early mariners used recognizable landmarks to navigate by. This approach worked fine if they hugged the coast and stayed in known waters. But if they ventured into the open ocean or to unknown waters, there were no recognizable landmarks. The stars and the sun, however, were fixed in the heavens and could be seen wherever sailors ventured and, hence, the stars and sun became the navigators's most reliable tool.

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