Position by the Azimuth-Zenith Distance Method

by Gabor S. Szava-Kovats,


Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 2, Pg. 13-30


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: A method of observing both azimuth and altitude (zenith distance) of a star simultaneously has been avoided in the past for second-order position determinations because of the mathematical difficulties involved in the calculations. The possibility of using this method as a result of the availability of electronic computers is investigated. A new approach is followed to derive simultaneous horizontal and vertical angle observations on a star or other moving objects such as satellites. A mathematical model is developed to generate these simultaneous observations instead of using the intersection of the telescope crosshairs which was found to be impractical and inaccurate. The same mathematical model is suitable for determining the instrument errors as unknowns together with the principal unknowns, the elements of position, latitude, longitude and the orientation (zero) connection to the azimuth. An accuracy analysis of the results is also given.

Subject Headings: Azimuth | Mathematical models | Errors (statistics) | Computing in civil engineering | Satellites | Intersections | Telescopes

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