Celestial Navigation and Piloting Software: StarPilot PC

StarPilot PC Celestial Navigation Software

Operation of StarPilot is easy by just loading the StarPilot PC program into your PC with the supplied CD or via Internet download. It runs on any PC running Windows NT, Windows-95 or newer. The hard copy version of the StarPilot PC comes with a CD which includes the program, an illustrated manual, and additional educational resources.

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StarPilot PC Celestial Navigation Features: Save time, keystrokes, and minimize errors

  • Easy to use menu-driven interface
  • Stored settings of commonly used values
  • All bodies and star names stored internally, no need for separate lists
  • DR functions integrated with the celestial functions
  • Convenient DR updating by log or time
  • Input courses as true or magnetic
  • Convenient time input, with or without zone description and watch error
  • Graphing calculator plots LOPS, Fixes, DR positions, and Star maps
  • Program can be easily updated to incorporate latest version and features
  • Custom menu bar for quick navigation to often-used functions

Celestial Navigation Sight Planning

  • Sunrise, Sunset, times and bearings (amplitudes)
  • LAN, time, Equation of time, Hs max at LAN1
  • Nautical and Civil twilight times, and LHA Aries at midpoint between them
  • Moonrise, Moonset, Moon phase, and Moon age
  • Precompute specific values of Hc and Zn for any body
  • Planet and Star ID by observed height and bearing
  • SIGHT PLANNER function plots full sky showing moon, stars, and planets in
  • Radar-like display of heights and bearings. Set Hc min/max and max number of stars before computation. Set cursor and click to read the actual height and bearing of a plotted body.
  • Special fast almanac mode allows full sky plot in less than 5 minutes (instantaneous in the PC version)
  • Display internal list of 173 stars by name, brightness, and location
  • Unique BEST SIGHTS function selects the optimum triads of sights for any sky (89 and PC only)

Celestial Navigation Sight Reduction

  • Optional modes for sequential sights using repeated settings or unrelated individual sights
  • Perpetual almanac accurate to 2100+
  • Historically accurate almanac data to 16th century
  • Sight reduction of Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn... plus Mercury!
  • Sight Reduction of 173 stars plus Polaris
  • “Assumed positions” read directly from DR section without extra input
  • View intercepts (a-values) with or without course and speed corrections
  • Full input data displayed with results to check for errors
  • Special center-body mode for artificial horizon data
  • Dip-short mode for practice at shorelines

Celestial Fixes on StarPilot PC

  • Unique SIGHT ANALYZER fits a sequence of sights to the right slope for optimum sight selection
  • All fixes corrected automatically for course and speed as needed
  • Fix accuracy independent of DR accuracy in all cases
  • Plots LOPS with live cursor position display
  • Fix computed by USNO algorithm in the Nautical Almanac
  • Zoom in on plot to see where computed fix is located
  • Fix can be obtained by graphic selection from the LOP plot
  • Automatic display of DR-to-Fix range and bearing
  • Optional automatic update of DR after fix
  • Display new course and distance to stored destination


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Special Celestial Functions
  • Latitude and Longitude by Meridian passage
  • Latitude by Polaris sighting
  • High precision Azimuth of Polaris for surveying or compass checks
  • Recover lost GMT using unique Lunar distance analyzer
  • Compass calibration via sun shadow method or ship's pelorus
  • Sight reduction by external almanac data bypasses internal almanac for
  • Literal checking of textbook problems.

Route planning utilities
  • Rhumb line course and distance with automatic comparison to GC
  • Great circle course and distance
  • Great circle waypoints
  • Composite sailing track latitude limited great circle route
  • Traverse Table computations
  • DR computations by speed and time or by log readings
  • Long-distance ETA computes local time and date of arrival, any time zone, any longitude, any date
  • Distance outputs to 2 decimal places for DGPS comparisons

Piloting utilities
  • Distance off by vertical sextant angle horizon to top
  • Distance off by vertical sextant angle base to top
  • Distance off by vertical sextant angle base to horizon
  • Distance off by two bow angles and distance run
  • Geographic Range computer
  • Numerical solutions to running fixes (PC only)
  • Numerical solutions to 3-point sextant fixes for precision PC piloting

Current Sailings
  • Find COG and SOG from course and speed plus set and drift
  • Find course to steer to make given COG, given set, drift, and speed
  • Find set and drift from COG and SOG and course and speed
  • Find course to steer and speed for given ETA across current

Miscellaneous Utilities
  • Convenient Speed-time-distance computer
  • Find true wind from apparent wind
  • Interpolate Tide height between highs and lows
  • Interpolate Current speed between peak and slack
  • Compute Magnetic Variation

The StarPilot has been sold commercially since 1999 and is now used by thousands of mariners world wide from recreational sailing cruisers to professional mariners on super tankers.

StarPilot LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Marine Networks, LLC, a company that specializes in satellite based vessel email, weather, tracking and other communication services.