Title: AN ANALYTICAL SOLUTION OF THE TWO STAR SIGHT PROBLEM OF CELESTIAL NAVIGATION
Author(s): James A. Van Allen
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 28, Number 1
Pages: 40 - 43
Cite this article: Van Allen, James A., "AN ANALYTICAL SOLUTION OF THE TWO STAR SIGHT PROBLEM OF CELESTIAL NAVIGATION", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 28, No. 1, Spring 1981, pp. 40-43.
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Abstract: The classical problem of celestial navigation, in its simplest form, is the determination of an observer’s longitude and latitude from the altitudes of two identified stars, observed at a known Greenwich Mean Time on a known date. A novel solution of this problem in closed analytical form is given herein. The solution yields the two possible positions of the observer without any prior knowledge of his position, without any dependence on tables of computed altitudes and azimuths for an assumed position, and without any graphical work. The basic two-fold ambiguity is resolved to yield a single, unique position by repeating the calculation using the altitudes of a third star and of one of the two previous stars. The full analytical solution is given as are some artificial numerical examples, readily performed on a hand-held, programmable calculator.