A ship's chart indicating compass deflection due to ship's iron.

Related Terms


The error resulting from change in velocity (either speed or direction); specifically, deflection of the apparent vertical, as indicated by an artificial horizon, due to acceleration. Also called BUBBLE ACCELERATION ERROR when applied to an instrument using a bubble as an artificial horizon.


A line connecting points having the same astronomical longitude. Because the deflection of the vertical (station error) varies from point to point, the astronomical meridian is not a plane curve. When the astronomical meridian is corrected for station error, it becomes the GEODETIC MERIDIAN. Also called TERRESTRIAL MERIDIAN and sometimes called GEOGRAPHIC MERIDIAN.


Angular distance between the plumb line at a station and the plane of the celestial equator It is the latitude which results directly from observations of celestial bodies, uncorrected for deflection of the vertical which, in the United States, may amount to as much as 25'. Astronomical latitude applies only t


A line connecting points having the same astronomical latitude. Because the deflection of the vertical varies from point to point, the astronomical parallel is an irregular line not lying in a single plane. When the astronomical parallel is corrected for station error, it becomes the GEODETIC PARALLEL. Sometimes called GEOGRAPHIC PARALLEL.


A temporary oscillatory error of a gyrocompass introduced when the north-south component of the speed changes, as by speed or course change. An accelerating force acts upon the compass, causing a surge of mercury from one part of the system to another in the case of the non pendulous compass, or a deflection (along the meridian) of a mass in the case of a pendulous compass. In either case, a precessing force introduces a temporary ballistic deflection error in the reading of the compass unless it is corrected


On a radarscope, a deflection or spot of contrasting luminescence caused by an echo, i.e., the radar signal reflected back to the antenna by an object. Also called PIP, ECHO, RETURN.


An inertial force acting on a body in motion, due to rotation of the earth, causing deflection to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. It affects air (wind), water (current), etc. and introduces an error in bubble sextant observations made from a moving craft due to the liquid in the bubble being deflected, the effect increasing with higher latitude and greater speed of the craft.


The correction due to deflection of the vertical resulting from irregularities in the density and form of the earth. Deflection of the vertical affects the accuracy of sextant altitudes.


1. A wave which has been reflected or otherwise returned with sufficient magnitude and delay to be perceived. 2. A signal reflected by a target to a radar antenna. Also called RETURN. 3. The deflection or indication on a radarscope representing a target. Also called PIP, BLIP, RETURN.


The angle which the normal to the ellipsoid at a station makes with the plane of the geodetic equator. It differs from the cor- responding astronomical latitude by the amount of the meridional component of the local deflection of the vertical. Also called TOPOGRAPHICAL LATITUDE and sometimes GEOGRAPHIC LATITUDE

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