US Navy Revives Ancient Navigation as Cyber Threats Grow

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jared King

 

Satellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attack. The tools of yesteryear are not.

The Naval Academy stopped teaching celestial navigation in the late 1990s, deeming the hard-to-learn skill irrelevant in an era when satellites can relay a ship’s location with remarkable ease and precision.

But satellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attack (paywall). The tools of yesteryear—sextants, nautical almanacs, volumes of tables—are not. With that in mind, the academy is reinstating celestial navigation into its curriculum. Wooden boxes with decades-old instruments will be dusted off and opened, and students will once again learn to chart a course by measuring the angles of stars.

Old school navigation pales in comparison to today’s high-tech systems. It’s both painfully difficult and far less precise. But it can get you where you need to go within about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). That could be a matter of life and death in a scenario where modern technology has been compromised.

Full article: US Navy Revives Ancient Navigation as Cyber Threats Grow (Defense One)

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