E. R. Swanson

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Omega is a very Long-Range, Very Low Frequency (VLF)radio navigation system which will provide global coverage for ships and aircraft. Present Omega coverage provides signals which are already the most widely distributed radio navigation aids in the world. A worldwide network of eight stations is planned for completion within the next few years and will provide redundant global coverage. Omega concepts are presented together with the transmission format and station placement. Practical marine navigation is discussed including the use of various charts and tables available from the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office. Realizable accuracy of one to two nautical miles id demonstrated. Omega derives not only its accuracy and reliability but also its limitatiosn from the characteristics of VLF radio propagation which are related to practical Omega navigation. Ambiguities and methods of ambiguity resolutio are discussed. Emphasis is placed on continuity of tracking because of characteristically high system reliability. Special features such as rendezvous accuracy and differential acuracy are discussed. Special applications such as oceanographic survey or velocity determination are mentioned. Advantages for traffic control usign a system such as OPLE or PLACE are discussed as are special shorter range systems useful for higher than nominal accuracy, such as micro-Omega.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 18, Number 2
Pages: 168 - 175
Cite this article: Swanson, E. R., "OMEGA", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 18, No. 2, Summer 1971, pp. 168-175.
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