Trawler Problem

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A Coast Guard boat is hunting in a fog for a smuggler disguised as a fishing trawler. The fog rises for an instant, disclosing the smuggler's position, and then quickly descends. The smuggler immediately departs at full speed on a straight line course of unknown direction. Assuming that both boats maintain a constant speed, and that the Coast Guard boat is faster than the smuggler, this Demonstration shows the course the Coast Guard vessel should steer in order to catch the smuggler.

Contributed by: John Snyder (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



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