dead reckoning

noun Navigation.
calculation of one's position on the basis of distance run on various headings since the last precisely observed position, with as accurate allowance as possible being made for wind, currents, compass errors, etc.
one's position as so calculated.

1605–15 Unabridged


verb (used with object) Navigation.
to calculate (one's position) by means of dead reckoning.

by back formation

dead-reckoner, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dead reckoning
a method of establishing one's position using the distance and direction travelled rather than astronomical observations

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

dead reckoning
might be from nautical abbreviation ded. ("deduced") in log books, but it also fits dead (adj.) in the sense of "unrelieved, absolute."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica

dead reckoning

determination without the aid of celestial navigation of the position of a ship or aircraft from the record of the courses sailed or flown, the distance made (which can be estimated from velocity), the known starting point, and the known or estimated drift

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
His dead reckoning with his scope is pretty impressive.
The crew had navigated solely on dead reckoning for the past three days because
  of persistent fog.
Most autonomous systems use dead reckoning to track the distance and angles
Navigation was by dead reckoning and solar observations.
Image for dead reckoning
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