Navigating a Submarine


The components pictured here are just part of the Ship’s Inertial Navigation System (SINS) used to steer submarines such as the USS Alabama. 
This computer, located in the Alabama’s navigation center, processed the data derived from the gyroscopes and accelerometers inside the SINS inertial guidance units. It calculated the degree of drift from the ship’s intended course and recommended corrections.
A modified IBM Selectric typewriter connected to a control unit provided input and output for the system computers.
The Naval Research Laboratory in the 1970s investigated whether atomic clocks would work in space. Like John Harrison in the 18th century, atomic clockmakers had to find ways to miniaturize clocks without sacrificing stability in a new environment. These clocks are based on the elements rubidium and cesium. Rubidium clocks are smaller and less costly but slightly less accurate than cesium clocks.
This device received navigation signals transmitted by Transit satellites passing overhead.