Autopilot or GPS guidance also called satellite guidance:


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StarNavPilot ®

Computer-aided maritime navigation.

Maritime navigation and piloting software that adapts to all types of navigation. Whether you are sailing for pleasure or for work. Whether you use a sailing boat or a motor boat.

World compatible navigation software.

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Autopilot or GPS guidance also called satellite guidance:

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StarNavPilot  la barre dans le goulet de Brest

Goulet de Brest: StarNavPilot at the helm.

In StarNavPilot software, although the term autopilot is used for better understanding, it is actually a GPS guidance. A simple classic autopilot connected to StarNavPilot transforms it into a powerful satellite guidance system.

Difference between autopilot and satellite guidance (or GPS guidance):

A basic autopiloting just keep the boat in a constant orientation between the axis of the boat and North. This orientation provided to the autopilot is the bearing of the target point from the starting point. This does not guarantee that the boat will move in a straight line or that it will reach the intended position. A boat rarely moves on its axis. Even if the pilot maintains a constant orientation from the North, it undergoes drifts. These drifts are due to the current, the wind, and the effect of the rudder corrections which are not necessarily the same on either side (especially on a sailboat). Under these conditions, the boat will therefore not reach the point targeted. If the orientation provided to the autopilot is periodically updated with the bearing of the target point from the current position, the boat will reach the target position but nothing forces it to stay on an axis from the start point to the target position. In a cross current, it will in this case follow a route in an arc which can sometimes take it very far from its route. Neither method automatically keeps the boat in a safe zone or to ward it of a danger.

GPS guidance, also called satellite guidance since the GPS system uses a constellation of satellites, is intended to guide the boat from the starting point of a route (or a section of route) to a point arrival point of the route (or a point of change of route section) while precisely keeping the boat on a straight line from the point of departure to the point of arrival. The heading information to follow the route varies continuously to keep the boat on a straight line depending on many parameters: allowed deviation on this section of route(width of the safe part of the route), current deviation of course, distance to target point, course correction rate (° / XTE max), maximum course correction angle, boat speed, maximum allowable rotation rate (ROT). The boat is therefore not always heading towards the point to be reached but makes a heading allowing it to join the route to be followed. The causes of drift are therefore automatically compensated permanently and the boat does not move away from the axis of the route.

A route is not necessarily a straight line between 2 points but can be a series of route sections with changes of course between the sections allowing for example to follow a tortuous channel with several waypoints and route segments. The passage from one section of route to the next and the change of course must be perfectly managed without causing route instability when approaching or passing the waypoint. The different sections of a route do not necessarily have the same value of the authorized course deviation (see: Routes with variable maximum route deviation ). Only this type of guidance makes it possible, for example, to follow a channel precisely and safely.

automatique et guidage par satellite StarNavPilot

Highlighting the difference between autopilot and GPS guidance (satellite guidance) from StarNavPilot for tracking a section of route with a cross current.

See the complete information on automatic piloting of the satellite guidance type in the software help under:

Autopilot and satellite guidance

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