NPCNS Navigation Plotting and Celestial Navigation Simulator

NPCNS Simulator is intended for training of navigators in accordance with requirements of Sections A-II/1, A-II/2, as related to gaining navigation plotting skills, and  B-II/1 p. "Training in celestial navigation" of STCW Convention at the first stages of education.

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NPCNS Simulator is intended for training of:

  • cadets of the navigation faculties in accordance with requirements of Sections A-II/1, A-II/2, as related to gaining navigation plotting skills, and  B-II/1 p. "Training in celestial navigation" of STCW Convention at the early stages of training
  • Small craft navigators

List of basic knowledge and skills, worked out with the use of NPCNS simulator:

  • Work with the nautical chart.
  • Position fixing with the use of different methods with the application of simulators of navigational equipment.
  • Execution of preliminary route plotting and route monitoring.
  • Conducting of main types of navigational calculations, required during the vessel is on the way.
  • Use of astronomical instruments and teaching aids for the aims of vessel’s position fixing and heading indication system adjustment reckoning in real time mode.
NPCNS Navigation Plotting and Celestial Navigation Simulator

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Standard set of NPCNS contains the following software:

  • Instructor WorkPlace
  • Exercise editor
  • Student WorkPlace
  • Electronic chart of the area "Ports Vysotsk and Vyborg (North-Eastern part of Gulf of Finland)"

Extended set additionally includes:

  • set of nautical charts,
  • set of plotting equipment,
  • specialized chart table.

Scheme of work

Instructor on the Instructor WorkPlace issues to each Student WorkPlace advance made exercises, consisting of one or several navigation or astronomy tasks.

For task solution each student being on its "virtual" vessel has the possibility to: observe surface picture and sky, take readings from the navigation equipment and astronomic instruments imitators, use "paper" nautical charts and astronomic tables.

Results of performing calculations on each task are saved on Student WorkPlace. After performing of the full exercise results of calculations are sent to Instructor WorkPlace where automatic valuation is made.

Instructor WorkPlace software

Instructor WorkPlace is intended for control of the students' training process.

With the help of Instructor WorkPlace software instructor has the possibility of:

  • assign advance made exercises to Student WorkPlaces;
  • make amendments to the exercise conditions before it is issued to Student WorkPlaces;
  • control the status of student included tasks performance;
  • on the implemented electronic chart system monitor the way points, current location, course, speed and other vessel parameters, location of target vessels and navigation references;
  • receive results of each task implementation individually and full exercise in general by automatically formed evaluations;
  • form and store in the register the results logs of students' practical training.

Exercise editor

Exercise editor is intended for development and storage of exercises for their future use.

During forming of the exercise:

  • navigation area and type of the vessel are determined;
  • current date and time of the date is set;
  • the route of the vessel is set up. It consists of waypoints. For each waypoint the certain task is appointed for position fixing by different ways and performing of navigational and astronomic calculations;
  • required corrections are input;
  • limit of time for performance is set up;
  • location of target vessels is set;
  • hydrometeorological conditions are set;
  • condition of navigational and astronomic devices work mode is set up.

Student WorkPlace software

On Student WorkPlace the following practical skills are drilled:

in navigation

  • dead-reckoning navigation (performing the main types of graphic plotting on the paper chart taking into consideration the external factors influence) including:
  • calculation of vessel's position by known movement elements (course and speed):
- vessel coordinates,
- distance covered,
- log readings

  • calculation of the course and arrival time to the waypoint with the known coordinates in the given moment of time.
  • position-finding (observation) by landmarks with the use of Radar simulator and visual monitoring:

- by bearings and distance;
- by 2 bearings;
- by 2 distances;
- by 3 bearings;
- by 3 distances;
- by 2 horizontal angles;
- by cross-bearing method.

  • pilotage (student should go through all the given waypoints), among them in the presence of wind and current.

in nautical astronomy

  • determine sextant corrections by horizon, star, Sun observation;
  • determine chronometer correction;
  • measure celestial altitudes with the use of sextant;
  • correct celestial altitudes measured by sextant;
  • adjust altitudes measured by sextant to one zenith;
  • figure out celestial bodies for astro-navigational observations with the help of celestial globe;
  • calculate longitudinal solar altitude time;
  • determinate latitude by the Polar star height or by longitudinal solar altitude;
  • determinate sunrise/sunset time;
  • determinate time of the beginning and ending of observation (nautical twilight );
  • train for celestial observation with the help of celestial globe;
  • obtain coordinates fixed by observation by Sumner position lines;
  • tudy the starry arch in any hemisphere;
  • compass correction determination by sunrise azimuth or by celestial body bearing in selectable azimuth.

Simulation of the following equipment on the Student WorkPlace gives feeling of the real navigational bridge:

  • magnetic compass,
  • gyrocompass,
  • optical position-finding device,
  • radar,
  • GPS receiver-indicator,
  • water speed log,
  • sextant,
  • celestial globe;
  • chronometer;
  • stop-watch timer.

Student WorkPlace software includes:

  • system of surface picture and sky visualization in different time of the day,
  • electronic chart with the plotting.

Models of the students vessels:

  • cargo vessel
  • small craft


STCW Code, Sections A-II/1, A-II/2
STCW Code, Section B-II/1 p.19 "Training in celestial navigation"