T. B. Merkel

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The concept of navigation by satellite was formulated during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s by scientists at the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University. Following close observation and inspection of the received signals of the Russian Sputnik satellite, the scientists there determined that a navigator’s position could be closely approximated by measuring the doppler-shifted radio signals from a satellite of known orbit. Thus evolved the TRANSIT system of navigation by satellite, spurred by the concurrent development of the Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines. For this particular application, TRANSIT became the reliable fixing aid fulfilling the world-wide submarine navigation requirements. Theoretical studies of airborne TRANSIT commenced in the mid-1960’s, but the lack of a suitable airborne platform stymied the growth and practical development until early 1969, when the Navy embarked on an approach to investigate the feasibility of airborne TRANSIT. The YP-3C Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Weapons System aircraft was chosen as the test platform because it provided both a central data processing capability and a normally long mission profile, needed to minimize the effect of the periodic nature of available TRANSIT updates.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 20, Number 3
Pages: 245 - 251
Cite this article: Merkel, T. B., "MILITARY APPLICATION OF THE TRANSIT SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM IN THE P-3C ASW AIRCRAFT", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 20, No. 3, Fall 1973, pp. 245-251.
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