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GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy

The Reference Ellipsoid and the Computation of the Geodetic Position:


Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Radii
Radii of
of Curvature
Curvature on the Ellipsoid
and
and Radii
Radii of
of Spherical
Spherical
Approximation
Approximation of of the
the Earth
Earth

Lecture No. 8

Department of Geodetic Engineering


University of the Philippines

a.s. caparas/06

Normal Sections on the Ellipsoid


• Consider first a normal to the
surface of the ellipsoid at some
point.
• A particular plane will cut the
surface of the ellipsoid forming
a curve which is known as the
normal section.
• At each point there exist an
infinite number of normal
section as there exist an
infinite number planes that that
contain the normal line.
• However, at each point, there
exist two mutually
perpendicular normal sections
whose curvature will be
maximum and minimum.
• These normal sections is
called the principal normal
sections.
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

1
Principal Normal Sections
On the ellipsoid the two
principal normal sections Meridional Normal
Section
are:
1.The Meridian or
Meridional Normal
Section – a plane passing
through the point and the
two poles.
2.The Prime Vertical
Normal Section – a plane
passing through the point Prime Vertical
and perpendicular to the Normal Section

meridian at that point.


The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Radii of Curvature of a Normal


Sections
In order to find the radius of curvature of any normal section at any
arbitrary direction, we may utilize the Euler’s formula:

1 cos2 θ sin2 θ
= +
ρ ρ1 ρ2
where:
ρ= is the radius of curvature of the section (any arbitrary section)
θ= is the angle measured from the meridian of the point
ρ1=is the radius of curvature of the principal normal section with the
maximum curvature
ρ2=is the radius of curvature of the principal normal section with the
manimum curvature

The Reference Ellipsoid and the


Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

2
Radius of Curvature of the Principal
Normal Sections
• Meridional Radius of Curvature, M:

a (1 − e 2 )
M= 3
(1 − e 2 sin 2 ϕ) 2

at the equator:
Mϕ=0 = a(1− e2 ) = a(1− f )2
at the poles:
a (1 − e 2 ) a a
M ϕ=90 = = =
3 1
(1 − f )
(1 − e )
2 2
(1 − e )2 2

The Reference Ellipsoid and the


Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Radius of Curvature of the Principal


Normal Sections
• If the values of the M
were tabulated, they
could be plotted with
respect to an origin at the
surface of the reference
ellipsoid.
• The endpoints of the
various M values would
fall on a curve known as ∆2
∆1
the locus of the centers of locus of the centers
of the curvature of
the meridional radius of the meridian
curvature.

The Reference Ellipsoid and the


Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

3
Radius of Curvature of the Principal
Normal Sections
• Prime Vertical
Radius of Curvature
p=Ncosφ
a
N= 1 φ

(1− e sin ϕ)
2 2 2

At the equator:
Nφ=0=a
At the poles:
a p
N ϕ=90 =
(1 − f )
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Comparing M and N…
• We can see that M and N are minimum at
points on the equator.
• At the poles M and N are equal with value
equal to a/(1-f).
• If we take the ration of M and N, we will
find that: N (1− e2 sin2 ϕ)
=
M (1− e2 )
• Thus, N≥M where equality holds at the
poles.
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

4
Radius of Curvature of the normal
section at any given azimuth
• using Euler’s formula we can determine
the radius of curvature letting θ=α=azimuth
of the normal section from the north, ρ1=N and
ρ2=M by:
1 sin2 α cos2 α
= +
Rα N M

MN
Rα =
N cos α + M sin2 α
2

The Reference Ellipsoid and the


Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Gaussian Mean Radius of Curvature of


Normal Sections at a point
• The Gaussian Mean Radius R of all the
radii of curvature of all the normal section
containing the normal line is given by:

R = MN
• The value of R is helpful when a radius of
a sphere that is to approximate the
ellipsoid is required.

The Reference Ellipsoid and the


Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

5
Example Problem
Solving for N:
a
Problem: N= 1

Compute for the radii of curvature of (1 − e 2 sin 2 ϕ) 2


the two principal normal sections 6378206
N=
and the Gaussian Mean radius of 1

curvature at the point whose (1 − 0.006768628177 sin 2 45o ) 2


geodetic latitude is 45°N on the N = 6,389,026.399 m
Clarke Spheroid of 1866.

Solution: Solving for M:


a(1 − e 2 )
Given: M= 3

φ=45°N (1 − e 2 sin 2 ϕ ) 2
f=1/294.98 6378206 (1 − 0.0067686281 77 )
M= 3
a=6,378,206 m (1 − 0.0067862817 7 sin 2 45 o ) 2
e2=0.006768628177
Find: N, M, and R
M = 6,367,330.501 m
Solving for R:
R = MN = (6367330.501)(6389026.399

R = 6,378,169.225 m
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Earth as a Sphere
• Since the computation of some quantities on the
surface of the ellipsoid is sometimes too
complex to handle, geodesists uses the sphere
as a model.
• This reduces the complexity of deriving formulas
and evaluating quantities.
• In order for us to use a sphere as a reference
model, we need to find a sphere which is
equivalent to the reference ellipsoid that we are
using

The Reference Ellipsoid and the


Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

6
Earth as a Sphere
• There are several way of finding a sphere
equivalent to the reference ellipsoid:
1. Equal surface area
2. Equal volume
3. Ellipsoid’s mean radius
- Gaussian
- Mean of the three semi-axes

The Reference Ellipsoid and the


Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Radii Approximation to the Earth or Mean Radius of the


Earth as a Sphere

A suitable radius may be defined by equating


the expressions of the quantities being
compared:
1. Spherical radius having the same area s the ellipsoid

 1 17 4 67 6 
R A = a 1 − e2 − e − e ....
 6 360 3024 
2. Spherical radius having the same Volume as the
ellipsoid

R v = 3 a 2b
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

7
Radii Approximation to the Earth or Mean Radius of the
Earth as a Sphere

3. Spherical radius having the mean radius of


the three semi-axes of the ellipsoid

(a + a + b)
Rm =
3
4. Gaussian mean radius as the radius of the
sphere

R= MN
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid

Example Problem
Problem:
Solving for Rm:
What are the radii of the (a + a + b )
equivalent spheres of the Rm =
3
Clarke Spheroid of 1866. Rm =
(6378206 + 6378206 + 6356583.497)
3
Solution: R m = 6,370,998.499 m
Given: Solving for RA:
 1 17 4 67 6 
f=1/294.98 R A = a 1 − e 2 − e − e ....
 6 360 3024 
a=6,378,206 m R A = 6,370,996.873 m
e2=0.006768628177
Solving for Rv:
Find: Rm, RA, and RV R v = 3 a 2 b = 3 (6378206) 2 (6356583.497)
R v = 6,370,990.339 m
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 8 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Properties of the Ellipsoid