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The title of this paper has appeared in two forms. First as "Mathematics of Navigation" and then as given above. We shall limit the presentation to a discussion of some topics in mathematics which the Naval Officer Candidate has need of, most of them wish they had been exposed to, or which are required for an understanding of navigation. These remarks are based on several years’ experience with Midshipmen during World War II and four summers with the Navigation Department of Reserve Officer Candidate School beginning in the summer of 1949. Our thinking is directed largely to surface navigation but applies almost as well to aerial navigation. In its general sense, "navigation is the science of location; i. e., the science by which one determines his position within a given coordinate system from observations made upon objects either within or without the system". Using the knowledge of his position, the navigator of a ship or plane may then set a course to any other object whose coordinates are known. All navigation by observations made upon objects within the coordinate frame of meridians and parallels is lumped under "geonavigation" whereas when the objects are extraterrestrial, the science is termed "celestial navigation". When it is necessary to resort to extrapolation, the method is termed "dead reckoning".

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1953 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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