In decades past, the navigation of ships, submarines and other sea-faring vessels was performed by steering toward the stars or navigating using the moon or the sun. Today’s ship navigation officers have highly advanced navigational equipment at hand that make the sea journey safer and smoother.Navigation By Stars

Here are a few of the many navigational pieces of equipment available:

  1. Used to determine the distance of the ship from land, other ships or floating objects.
  2. Gyro compass assists in directional details. These compasses are not impeded by the external magnetic field and is used to find the correct North Position, the earth’s rotational axis.
  3. Magnetic compasses which work in conjunction with the earth’s magnetic field.
  4. Automatic radar plotting aids which display the position of the ship and other nearby vessels.
  5. An echo sounder that measures the water’s depth below the ship through the use of sound waves.
  6. Global Positioning Systems, much like those on our smart phones and in our vehicles. The GPS utilizes the global positioning satellites in the earth’s orbit.
  7. Ship flags are still used and there are various types of flags and signs that indicate the ship’s position. Signal flags have been used since ancient times and are still utilized today.

Nautical navigation systems today typically encompass state of the art radar sensors in addition to three-dimensional navigational consoles and advanced data management systems.

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