purpose of bearing circle

Apr. 12, 2024 I want to consult

A bearing circle is an instrument used to measure or indicate the azimuth angle, which can assist ships in determining the direction of themselves or targets, as well as their relative positions to other ships or objects.

The principle of the bearing circle involves a rotatable disc marked with degrees from 0° to 360°, representing the angle rotated clockwise from the true north direction. The center of the bearing circle has a pointer that can point in any direction.

The main uses of the bearing circle include:

Measuring Azimuth Angles: The bearing circle can be used to measure the azimuth angle of a target or object, which is the angle from the true north direction, rotated clockwise to the direction of the target. For instance, if a target is directly to the east, its azimuth angle would be 90°.

Indicating Direction: The bearing circle can be used to indicate the direction of oneself or a target, starting from the true north direction and rotating to the corresponding angle on the bearing circle. For example, to indicate the direction of true south, one would rotate the bearing circle to the 180° position.

Determining Position: The bearing circle can be used to determine the relative position of oneself or a target in relation to other ships or objects. By using the scale and distance on the bearing circle, one can calculate the coordinates of oneself or the target. For example, if a target is located at an azimuth angle of 45° and a distance of 10 kilometers, its coordinates would be (10√2/2, 10√2/2).

In summary, the bearing circle is a crucial navigational tool for ships, providing precise directional information that is essential for safe and efficient navigation.

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purpose of bearing circle


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