Applying Mathematics to Astro Navigation. This addition to the ‘Astro Navigation Demystified’ series focuses on the mathematical principles upon which astro navigation is based and it will appeal to anyone with an interest in these subjects whether they be navigators or mathematicians. Few navigation books describe techniques that involve first principles; instead they mostly describe methods which rely upon the use of tables of computed data and rote-learned procedures. There is obviously very little educational value in such techniques; far better that students of the subject should be helped to discover and apply the underlying principles for themselves. Accordingly, the approach adopted in this book involves putting the student in the place of a navigator who has no automated navigation equipment, nautical almanac, chronometer or ‘Sat. Nav.’ and who must therefore discover a means of navigating without them. To this end, readers are guided through a method of calculating a position on the earth’s surface by the application of spherical trigonometry without reliance upon equipment other than an angle measuring device such as a simple clinometer.
Section two of the book, which is very popular with teachers and college lecturers, contains activities that are designed to provide opportunities to consolidate the knowledge acquired and provide ideal starting points for ‘open-ended’ projects. They are suitable for people with a wide range of interests from seafarers and sailing enthusiasts to students of mathematics and nautical studies.