IRRADIATION AND REFRACTION AT LOW ALTITUDES AND THE WORKING NAVIGATOR

Captain H. H. Shufeldt

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: I read with particular interest the papers by Dr.'s G.M. Clemence and Charles H. Smiley on refraction at low altitudes,(1,2,3,) and the accuracy to be expected from observations at great zenith distances, as I had long believed that observations of this nature had been grossly maligned in the navigational texts. During World War II, quite a few navigators worked such sights from necessity, and those with whom I discussed the subject believed that the resulting lines of position had plotted within two or three miles of the ship’s true position. While I was navigator on a carrier operating with the Third Fleet, low altitude sun sights proved most helpful on several occasions, particularly in connection with air operations off the Japanese Coast. Weather conditions in that area were sometimes such that during a 48 hour period, only one string of sights was obtainable; these were of the sun, with an altitude of between O and about 3 degrees. For some meteorological reason I do not understand, on several occasions there was a narrow band of clear sky at the horizon at dawn, under a heavy overcast.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 4, Number 2
Pages: 86 - 91
Cite this article: Shufeldt, Captain H. H., "IRRADIATION AND REFRACTION AT LOW ALTITUDES AND THE WORKING NAVIGATOR", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1954, pp. 86-91.
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