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Shoran uff it's a word

I do have an extensive vocabulary, but sometimes in Scrabble and Words of Wonder I just make guesses. Like "Oh, this sounds like a word," or "Oh, I wonder if this is a wor- IT IS!?!? o_O" or else I just string letters together on Words of Wonder until they start rocking back and forth to indicate I have discovered, randomly, a real word. Today's WTF "apparently it's a real word" for the day: "Shoran." It's apparently something to do with airplanes.

This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1162628.html
You can comment either here or there.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2013 07:41 am (UTC)
[Warning: archaic technogeek pedantry ahead!]

Before GPS was invented, there were a number of other systems for providing location information to ships and planes. Beginning in the period between the two World Wars, and accelerating greatly during WW II, a number of systems using radio transmitters were invented. The better-known one is LORAN, an acronym for LOng RAnge Navigation. It was widely used by both aircraft and ships, and still exists - there now seems to be a plan to modernize the equipment and use the system as a backup in case something goes wrong with GPS.

More or less at the same time as LORAN, SHORAN was also invented - it stands for SHOrt RAnge Navigation. While it was originally intented as a system for directing bombers to their targets, it quickly became useful for other purposes, such as indicating the way to a specific godforsaken location. It's still used today, also, mainly by oil-exploration teams in remote areas.

Both LORAN and SHORAN work by having a system of transmitters, each assigned to a specific frequency, and each sending out pulses of radio waves at precisely defined time intervals. A specially designed receiver can compare the pulses from two different transmitters, and determine that the aircraft or ship it's on has a position somewhere along a specific line, which can be found on a chart. Once the operator has determined the craft's position on two different lines (from two pairs of transmitters - typically three in all, A+B and A+C), all s/he has to do is find the spot on the chart where those two lines cross. Extremely tedious by today's standards, but a vast improvement over trying to navigate by the stars!

Edited at 2013-08-17 07:45 am (UTC)
Aug. 17th, 2013 08:25 am (UTC)
Aug. 18th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
You should know by now that you have to be careful asking questions around me... I answer... :-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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