Proportional Navigation Calculator

Proportional Navigation is a principle used in guided missile technology and space navigation systems to predict and maintain an intercept course towards a target. Originating from the field of Aeronautical Engineering, a branch of Physics, this tutorial will walk you through its associated calculations, real-world applications, and noteworthy facts about this intriguing subject.

Proportional Navigation Calculator
meter per second
Proportional Navigation Calculator Results
Missile Acceleration =
Missile Velocity Vector =

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Example Formula

The fundamental formula used in Proportional Navigation is given as:

a = N × V × LOS
  1. a: This represents the required acceleration of the missile.
  2. N: This is the Proportional Navigation Constant, also known as the Navigation Constant, which varies depending on the type of proportional navigation used.
  3. V: This is the relative velocity between the missile and the target.
  4. LOS: This is the rate of change of the line of sight (LOS) angle or LOS rate, which is the angular rate at which the target moves in the missile's sight.

Who wrote/refined the formula

This formula and the concept of Proportional Navigation has been refined over time by researchers and scientists in the field of Aeronautical Engineering and Physics, particularly those working on missile guidance and space navigation systems. This subject is also relevant to fields like Aerospace Engineering and Defence Technology.

Real Life Application

The formula and principles of Proportional Navigation are extensively used in missile guidance systems, where the aim is to predict and intercept the path of a moving target effectively. The same principles are also applied in space navigation systems to adjust and maintain the course of spacecrafts in outer space.

Key individuals in the discipline

John C. Houbolt, an American aerospace engineer at NASA Langley Research Center, was instrumental in the development of spacecraft navigation systems. While Houbolt did not specifically work on Proportional Navigation, his work on trajectory calculations and orbital mechanics paved the way for advancements in space navigation.

Interesting Facts

  1. Proportional Navigation is an integral part of modern missile guidance systems, contributing to defense capabilities and strategic warfare.
  2. The concept is not only used in missile guidance but also forms the basis for several flight navigation and control systems in civil aviation and space exploration.
  3. Understanding and applying Proportional Navigation has been crucial in humanity's space exploration endeavors, enabling successful moon landings and Mars Rover missions.


Understanding Proportional Navigation is critical in the field of Aeronautical Engineering and Physics. Its application and development have played a substantial role in advancing defense technology and space exploration. As we continue to explore the realms of outer space, the principles of Proportional Navigation will remain central to our efforts.

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