1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Azimuth Calculation

  1. Mar 9, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Ok, I'm doing a survey course, and I need to calculate the azimuth of an angle. The 'textbook' is a series of not-all-that-well-written notes, so I'm hoping you can help (it tells me that to calculate azimuth I need to reduce to absolute coords, but in order to do so I need the azimuth!:grumpy: ).

    I'm not going to post my variables because I don't want you to give me the answer, only to help me figure out the formula I need. I know this is basic trig, but it's been decades since I've studied any trig or physics. I know what an azimuth is, just not how to calculate it from my data.

    I know one angle, and the distance between my station point (A) and the point I'm measuring (B). I know the angle is zero because I set the instrument to zero along it.

    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/members/starfire_mk2-42816-albums-misc-retribution-files-picture1583-01.jpg [Broken]

    I know point B is in the 4th quadrant, with -dX and +dY values. Intuitively, this means my AZ will be ~ the 300* range. Problem is, while I understand both the rectangular and polar coord systems (I suspect this is a polar coord system I'm working in, since I have a -dX angle), I don't know how to calculate dX and dY.

    2. Relevant equations

    Polar angle theta =tan minus 1 (dX/dY) +addition constant

    If this is the right formula, how do I calculate dX and dY??

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook