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Line of Position Navigation
Sumner and Saint-Hilaire: The Two Pillars of Modern Celestial Navigation
by Michel Vanvaerenbergh and Peter Ifland
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This book is a unique, concise resource for the history of the development of Line of Position navigation techniques from their invention in the 1840’s to the end of the twentieth century.

The point of crossing of two or three Lines of Position plotted on a chart quickly and accurately gives a fix of the navigator’s position. We owe two nineteenth century navigators for creation of the basic concepts of celestial navigation we still use today-- Thomas H. Sumner, an American merchant captain, and Marcq Saint-Hilaire, capitaine de frégates in the French navy. This book describes the new techniques they derived from their personal knowledge and experience.


Michel Vanvarenbergh learned the basics of navigation at an early age from his father, a merchant marine captain and maritime pilot. Michel’s professional education was as an engineer before becoming a commercial airline pilot for Sabena World Airlines, qualified as Captain and flight instructor. He taught aircraft navigation at the national Belgian Ecole d’Aviation Civile and wrote the course that is still in use there. Celestial navigation, and particularly the study of historic techniques, has been an area of special interest for more than thirty years.

Peter Ifland is a retired Commander in the U. S. Navy Reserve, having served as a deck officer on destroyer types in WWII and the Korean affair. Peter has a PhD in chemistry and spent his professional career as a manager in R&D for a multinational consumer products company. He has a special interest in the hand-held instruments used for celestial navigation. He has written a book, Taking the Stars: Celestial Navigation from Argonauts to Astronauts, and has published numerous articles on celestial navigation instruments.

  book publishing, book publisher Line of Position Navigation

ISBN-10: 1-58832-068-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-58832-068-1

Retail: $13.99 U.S.
Edition: First
Specs: 6 x 9 Trade Paperback
Length: 232
Released: March 2003
Subject(s): History
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