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Published on Apr 12, 2009
This is a demonstration of one of the spreadsheets available from http://www.navigation-spreadsheets.com/. These spreadsheets carry out computations used in celestial navigation. This demo is performed on an iPod Touch; any computer or smartphone with an Excel compatible spreadsheet application will do.
About dr_fix_lop.xls: From a previous known position characterized by its latitude and longitude, this spreadsheet first computes the new dead reckoning position of the vessel based on distance and direction traveled. We assume that, at this later time, a celestial line of position becomes available from a sextant observation (of the Sun, in this example) and the corresponding nautical almanac data. The spreadsheet then finds the point along this line of position that is the closest to the dead reckoning position. The latitude and longitude of this point define the new estimated position of the vessel. The spreadsheet also outputs the distance and bearing from the dead reckoning position to the estimated position. The spreadsheet does not employ an assumed position or the intercept distance.