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fake astronomical objects as an aid to navigation

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Reading the star guide digital astrolab idea, I realised all in needs to work in places benighted by clouds in some areas, like the Uk, I realised there might be a market for something that can fake astronomical objects.

Probably the easiest way is to use lasers to project the astronomical objects on the undersides of the clouds, and then control their placement so as to mirror the movement of real astronomical objects.

In this way, navigation will be possible even under cloudy skies, even in remote locations.

not_morrison_rm, Apr 25 2014

star guide digital astrolab star_20guide_20digital_20astrolab
[not_morrison_rm, Apr 25 2014]

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       The clouds don't have undersides, they continue right down to the ground.
pocmloc, Apr 25 2014

       Ah, that would Scotland you're talking about, in England the clouds do occasionally rise higher than ground level. I have photos of this rare phenomena.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 25 2014

       Baked by Commissioner Gordon?
Harry Mudd, Apr 25 2014

       I would like to see glow-in-dark doughnuts! +
xandram, Apr 25 2014

       Boring real life story, used to see one white light crossing the skies, reflected on the clouds very late at night in the sticks. My theory is car headlight reflected off a greenhouse or something.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 25 2014

       funny, i thought that this is exactly what sattelites are!   

       the are fake moons. small, travelling fast, and on predictable trajectories .   

       not only that , they send out predictable frequency and amplitude radiation pings---AT PREDICTABLE AND PERIODIC INTERVALS!!!   

teslaberry, Apr 25 2014

       //use lasers to project the astronomical objects on the undersides of the clouds//   

       Yes, but it'll only work from one point of view. Anyone who's a mile away from that point, looking at the projected images, will be wildly out.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 25 2014

       So, carry your own lasers.
pocmloc, Apr 25 2014

       For those sticklers over the finer points ( and people whose initials are M and B) there is a pay-money-app more accurate version.   

       Two lasers, one red, one green, project spots, take a pic, smartphone app works out from the angles and positions of the spots where you are. Laser light is modulated to provide ID number of base station, to avoid confusion.   

       Suggest base stations located in pubs, that way even if the technology doesn't work, the by now thirsty traveller at least knows which way the pub is.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 25 2014

       (I didn't want to alert the poor bashkwij, but the word he was hunting for was "astrolabe", not "astrolab")
lurch, Apr 26 2014

       astrobabe does have some promise as well, except Sandra Bullock, debris magnet...
not_morrison_rm, Apr 26 2014

       Oh look, 's Shift key works: so much for my double-Frodo theory.   

       <wonders how many other denizens are considering posting "Cloudvertising", knowing they will get blamed when somebody picks up on it>
FlyingToaster, Apr 26 2014

       //the are fake moons. small, travelling fast, and on predictable trajectories...   

       Weirdos, cluttering up the night sky like that...I told 'em, I told 'em I did...
not_morrison_rm, Apr 26 2014

       A laser shone into a cloud produces a line, not a point. Unless you are standing directly in line with the laser beam of course.   

       So what is needed is a Fake Astronomical Object Laser Hat. The equipment is mounted on the user's head. It contains a GPS system and accelerometer. Its servos orient the hat-mounted lasers so as to shine beams away from the user in the direction of genuine astronomical objects. The beams appear as more or less point lights to the wearer of the hat.   

       The wearer can then hold up their phone and activate the star guide digital astrolab app, which will detect the laser points and be able to calculate the current time / position.
pocmloc, Apr 26 2014

       The problem with a line in the clouds is that it will appear 2 dimensional. One could appreciate the angle with the horizon, but angling towards or away from the viewer will be difficult to appreciate. What is needed here is a third dimension. If the point source of a laser traced out a known pattern, I think the observed change in length of the line in the clouds could be used to calculate the position of the laser source relative to the viewer.   

       The known pattern traced in the clouds could also advertise products made by the owner of the laser: for example B for BUNGCO.
bungston, Apr 26 2014

       / the are fake moons. small, travelling fast, and on predictable trajectories .   

       not only that , they send out predictable frequency and amplitude radiation pings---AT PREDICTABLE AND PERIODIC INTERVALS!!! /   

       This gave me an idea for a post apocalyptic scifi. The traveler at night uses satellites to establish position. He watches for them in the sky, and knows them by name and legend, like the constellations. He has no technology to hear their signals, but he knows they are speaking to him and that they want to help him find his way. To attract their favor, he carries a broken GPS device in his medicine pouch, passed down to him from his uncle.
bungston, Apr 26 2014


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