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# GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the Computation of the Geodetic Position:

Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

Normal
Normal Sections,
Sections, Unique
Unique Normal
Normal
Sections,
Sections, and
and Reciprocal
Reciprocal Normal
Normal
Sections

Lecture No. 9

## Department of Geodetic Engineering

University of the Philippines

a.s. caparas/06

Normal Sections
• Recall that we have
defined a normal section
as a curve formed by the
intersection of the plane Normal Plane
that contains the normal
at a given point to the
surface of the ellipsoid
• Physically, the normal
section can be viewed
when an optical
instrument such as a
theodeolite or total station
is set-up above a point
• A normal plane is the
plane swept out by the
moving the telescope in
the vertical direction
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

1
Normal Sections
• By sighting on a
distant point, we
define a plane that
contains the normal at B
the observation site, A

## and passes through

the observed site
• The intersection of
this plane with the
ellipsoid forms the
normal section from
the observation to the
observed point The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

Normal Sections
• Consider the normal line
to point B
• This normal line will
intersect the minor axis at
some point A
B
• Now consider the normal
line at point B
• The normal line at point B
will intersect the minor
axis at a point different
from the point of
intersection of the normal
line at point A and the
minor axis
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

2
Normal Sections
• Consider the two normal
plane to the two points
• We can see that two
normal planes will nor
B
coincide in any way
• Thus, the two normal
planes will create two
different normal sections A
• And if we have two
normal planes, we have
two normal sections

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the

Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

## Reciprocal Normal Sections

• In general, if we have two
points on the ellipsoid
whose latitudes and
longitudes are different,
there exist two different B
normal section that
contain both points
• The normal section from
point A to point B and the
A
normal section from point
B to point A
• These two normal
sections is known as the
reciprocal normal
sections The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

3
Complication of having Reciprocal
Normal Sections
• The presence of
reciprocal normal
sections creates a
problem in when
observation are used in
the computations
• We can see that with the
observed interior angles
of the triangle, we cannot
have a closed figure
• Therefore, theoretically,
no matter how good our
observations are, we still
cannot have a closed
observed polygon on the
surface of the ellipsoid
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

## Unique Normal Section

• However, there are certain
cases in which the normal
section between two
points is unique

## • There are two cases in

which there exist a unique
normal section between
two points:
1.When the two points are
on the same meridian
2.When the two points are
on the same parallel
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

4
Separation Between RNS
• We can express the
differences between the RNS
in terms of the quantities that Linear
separates them Separation
• There are two principal B
separations between the
RNS.
• However, a third quantity is
needed to consider to at the
two principal separation Angle between the
normal section
• The separations between planes
RNS are:
1. Angle in between
2. Linear Separation Azimuth
A Separation
3. Azimuth Separation

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the

Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

## Angle between the RNS

• The angle between the intersecting normal
section planes denoted by f is given by:

## f = e 2σ cos A12 cos 2 ϕ m sin A12

1
f = e2σ cos2 ϕm sin 2 A12
2

1 2 s
f= e cos 2ϕ m sin2A12
2 N1

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the

Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

5
Linear Separation between RNS
• The linear separation between the reciprocal normal
section denoted by d is generally given by:
e2
d = s(σ -θ ) 2 cos 2ϕ msin2A12
4
• The maximum linear separation occur when θ=σ/2, the
equation becomes:
e2 2 2
d = sσ cos ϕ m sin2A12
16
e2 s 2
d = s 2 cos 2ϕm sin2A12
16 N1
The Reference Ellipsoid and the
Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

## Linear Separation between RNS

As a numerical example:

## • For a line whose φm=45°N and A12=45°:

s 200 km 100 km 50 km
dmax 0.050 m 0.006 m 0.0008
m

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the

Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

6
Azimuth Separation between RNS

## • The azimuth separation between the

reciprocal normal section denoted by ∆ is
given by:
2
e 2σ 2 cos 2ϕ m sin2A12 e 2  s 
∆= =   cos 2ϕm sin2A12
4 4  N1 

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the

Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

## Azimuth Separation between RNS

As a numerical example:

## • For a line whose φm=45°N and A12=45°:

s 200 km 100 km 50 km
∆” 0.36” 0.09”
0.023”

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the

Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

7
Reference:
• Rapp, Richard R., Geometric Geodesy,
Ohio State University, Ohio State USA.

## The Reference Ellipsoid and the

Lecture 9 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Computation of the Geodetic Position:
Curves on the Surface of the Ellipsoid

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