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Old 07-19-2007, 06:54 PM   #1
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"BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States and the European Union are close to signing an agreement that would allow their satellite navigation systems to work together to provide more accurate images and information.

Under the agreement, which the United States says it expects to be signed this week, both EU and U.S. satellites would send information on the same radio frequency, enabling receivers to get signals from both systems and combine the data.

The EU's Galileo system is yet to be launched, and the benefits of the agreement will depend on makers of receivers wanting to accept both systems, but one senior U.S. official involved in the EU-U.S. talks said that was inevitable.

"The market probably will drive dual-use receivers. We think probably that single (U.S.) GPS-specific, or Galileo-specific receivers -- the market will phase out in time," said Raymond Clore, a GPS-Galileo senior adviser from the U.S. State Department.

"It just doesn't make sense to limit yourself to just one system," he told Reuters."

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:01 PM   #2
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Sextant.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:08 PM   #3
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Add into the equation the developing tensions between Russia and the US over the placement in Europe of US missile 'defence' systems, and the re-emergence of Russia as a major military power, and the advice to brush up on astral nav, seems prudent.

David.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:40 AM   #4
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... the Chinese did a little sabre rattling a couple of months ago when they destroyed one of their old orbiting satellites with some new missle technology, ostensibly to demonstrate to the international community that they had mastered 'pin-point' accuracy when it came to snuffing out communication, navigation, or any other type satellite whenever they bloody well pleased.

Didn't seem to make headline news except within the U.S. DOD where it was acknowleged that taking out some of our GPS satellites could certainly "wreak havoc". Sort of an understatement.

I'll second David and Trim's suggestion - stay brushed up on celestial navigation.

John
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:15 AM   #5
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Whatever the future holds in store for electronic navigation, it makes good sense to brush the dust off the sextant and keep in practice.

Aye

Stephen
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:02 PM   #6
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The next 10 years are going to be interesting ones for sure. As oil supplies diminish and demand grows exponentially from China and India, we will be witnessing a lot of international wrangling for oil fields. I certainly hope to find myself in a nice South Pacific Atoll if things get out of hand.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:09 PM   #7
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If the GPS goes south, I just hope there is some station still transmitting an accurate time signal otherwise you have lost your longitude too.

This thread just adds to my conviction that the so called civilised first world is a fragile society.

Aye

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
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If the GPS goes south, I just hope there is some station still transmitting an accurate time signal otherwise you have lost your longitude too.

Stephen
Aloha Stephen,

A very good friend of mine who 'wrote one of the books' on celestial navigation always taught that keeping 3 or so $10 cheapo digital wristwatches on board to compliment his trusty chronometer was a habit worth its weight in gold. On long passages he would periodically check all timepieces against the SSB/HAM naval time signal, toss out the high and low watch readings, and average the others. Having made a 3,200 mile Pacific passage together just a few years ago, and I can attest to the 'fact' that it's an incredibly accurate method, especially compared against our GPS position. Operator error using a sextant on a rolling deck proved to be the biggest challenge.

I have been laughed at in the past for 'living in the dark ages' when I mentioned that I keep up with my celestial navigation skills. But, being a sailor, I don't like to put too much dependency for my safety in other people's hands.

Fair winds, a following sea, and a green flash in your sunset to you.

John K.
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