NAVIGATION SATELLITES

Donald F. Spencer

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: RECEKT STUDIES of navigation requirements and available navigation technology indicate that a new satellite navigation system may offer certain operational and cost advantages over other navigation systems. This paper discusses the influence of current navigation svstems on future systems and also explores manv of the considerations involved in establishing the requirements and technology base for a new navigation satellit,e system. Department of Defense objectives and certain R&D effort,s are reviewed plus their relationship to possible civil applicat~ions. The importance of system cost-effectiveness t,hroughout the total life of the system and the need for wide Tri- Service application and use are covered. These and other factors which may affect navigation satellite system concepts and R&D efforts of the future are included. Navigation is an “art” which can be traced to man’s first desire to move from one location to another. I purposely use t,he word art because I believe that although we have many very sophisbicated navigation systems available to us today, it is still man’s judgment or inner sense which provides the true navigator’s touch in many difficult navigation situations. For this reason, and others, it is disturbing to observe situations today where the emphasis on navigation has decreased or is decreasing significantly. This may have happened for many reasons, but the one which is the most disturbing to me is the attitude of some people that navigation has been with us for such a long, long time that just about all of the navigation problems have been solved. I, of course, don’t subscribe to that attitude or belief. I really believe t,hat some of our most challenging problems lie ahead of us. They all don’t fall in the technical area, though many new technical frontiers are before us. Funding or availability of dollars is also a highly important consideration and it sometimes appears an overriding factor. Furthermore, the navigation function itself is becoming more integrated within other mission functions for broader applications. Nevertheless, I like to bring all of these things together and say that in my opinion our main challenge Is “Navigation Systems Management within Fiscal Limits.” This is especially true for what is sometimes called long range navigation systems. Navigation satellite systems would be an important part in this grouping. For numerous reasons satellite navigation seems t#o attract special attention. It is my intent to limit’ this paper to this general area. In the paragraphs that follow, I will discuss the factors and reasons which I believe will influence and shape the future generation of navigation satellites, especially for military applications, in the last third of the 20th Century.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 14, Number 4
Pages: 378 - 382
Cite this article: Spencer, Donald F., "NAVIGATION SATELLITES", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 14, No. 4, Winter 1967-1968, pp. 378-382.
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