AskDefine | Define navigator

Dictionary Definition



1 the ship's officer in charge of navigation [syn: sailing master]
2 the member of an aircrew who is responsible for the aircraft's course
3 in earlier times, a person who explored by ship

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a person who navigates, especially an officer with that responsibility on a ship or an aircrew member with that responsibility on an aircraft
  2. a sea explorer
  3. a device that navigates an aircraft, automobile or missile
  4. : a labourer on an engineering project such as a canal; a navvy


officer who navigates
sea explorer

Related terms

Extensive Definition

A navigator is the person onboard a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or Aircraft Commander of estimated timing to destinations while en route, and ensuring hazards are avoided. The navigator is in charge of maintaining the aircraft or ship's nautical charts, nautical publications, and navigational equipment, and generally has responsibility for meteorological equipment and communications.
In the world's air forces, modern navigators are frequently tasked with weapon systems employment and co-pilot type duties depending on the type, model and series of aircraft. In the U.S. Air Force, the former aeronautical rating of Navigator has been renamed Combat Systems Officer, while in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, those officers formerly called Navigators or Naval Aviation Observers have been known as Naval Flight Officers since the mid-1960s. USAF Navigators/Combat Systems Officers and USN/USMC Naval Flight Officers must be Basic Mission Qualified in their aircraft, or fly with an Instructor Navigator or Instructor NFO to provide the necessary training for their duties.
Shipborne navigators in the U.S. Navy are normally Surface Warfare Officer qualified with the exception of Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers assigned to Ship's Navigator billets aboard aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious assault ships and who have been qualified at a level equal to Surface Warfare Officers. U.S. Coast Guard officers that are shipboard navigators are normally Cutter qualified at a lebel analogous to the USN officers previously mentioned. Quartermasters are the Navigator's enlisted assistants and perform most of the technical navigation dutues.
Aboard ships in the Merchant Marine and Merchant Navy, the Second Mate is generally the Navigator.

Nautical charts

detail Nautical charts
A naval ship's navigator is responsible for buying and maintaining its nautical charts. A nautical chart, or simply "chart", is a graphic representation of a maritime or Flight region and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land, natural features of the seabed, details of the coastline, navigational hazards, locations of natural and man-made aids to navigation, information on tides and currents, local details of the Earth's magnetic field, restricted flying areas, and man-made structures such as harbours, buildings and bridges. Nautical charts are essential tools for marine navigation; many countries require vessels, especially commercial ships, to carry them. Nautical charting may take the form of charts printed on paper or computerised electronic navigational charts.
The nature of a waterway depicted by a chart changes regularly, and a mariner navigating on an old or uncorrected chart is courting disaster. Every producer of navigational charts also provides a system to inform mariners and aviators of changes that affect the chart. In the United States, chart corrections and notifications of new editions are provided by various governmental agencies by way of Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners, Summary of Corrections, and Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Radio broadcasts give advance notice of urgent corrections.
A convenient way to keep track of corrections is with a Chart and Publication Correction Record Card system. Using this system, the navigator does not immediately update every chart in the portfolio when a new Notice to Mariners arrives, instead creating a card for every chart and noting the correction on this card. When the time comes to use the chart, he pulls the chart and chart's card, and makes the indicated corrections on the chart. This system ensures that every chart is properly corrected prior to use.
Various and diverse methods exist for the correction of electronic navigational charts.
navigator in Arabic: ملاح
navigator in German: Navigator
navigator in French: Navigateur (marine)
navigator in Hebrew: נווט
navigator in Romanian: Navigator
navigator in Chinese: 航海家

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

AB, Ancient Mariner, Argonaut, Dylan, Flying Dutchman, Gyropilot, Neptune, OD, Poseidon, Varuna, able seaman, able-bodied seaman, aerial photographer, aircrew, aircrewman, automatic pilot, avigator, bakehead, belly gunner, black gang, bluejacket, boatheader, boatsteerer, boatswain, boilerman, bombardier, buccaneer, bungs, cabin boy, captain, chief engineer, chief mate, chips, cicerone, commander, commissary steward, complement, courier, cowherd, coxswain, crew, crew chief, deck officer, deckhand, deckie, deep-sea man, dragoman, drover, fair-weather sailor, fireman, fisherman, flight attendant, flight crew, goatherd, guide, guidepost, guider, gun loader, gunner, hand, hearty, helmsman, herd, herdsman, hospital steward, hostess, jack, jack afloat, jack-tar, jacky, landing signalman, limey, lobsterman, machine gunner, mail orderly, mariner, master, mate, matelot, mercury, meteorologist, naval officer, navigating officer, oiler, patron, pilot, pipes, pirate, pointer, privateer, purser, quartermaster, radio operator, river pilot, roustabout, sailing master, sailor, salt, sea dog, sea rover, seafarer, seafaring man, seaman, second mate, shepherd, shipman, shipmaster, skipper, snip, snips, sparks, steerer, steersman, steward, stewardess, stoker, tar, the Old Man, torpedoman, tour director, tour guide, viking, watch, watch officer, water dog, whaler, wheelman, windjammer, windsailor, yeoman
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