An ancient instrument formerly used for amplitude observations


Related Terms

HACK

A chronometer which has failed to meet the exacting require- ments of a standard chronometer, and is used for timing observations of celestial bodies, regulating ship's clocks, etc. A comparing watch, which may be of high quality, is normally used for timing celestial observations, the watch being compared with the chronometer, preferably both before and after observations. Sometimes called HACK CHRONOMETER.

NATIONAL TIDAL DATUM EPOCH

The specific 19-year cycle adopted by the National Ocean Survey as the official time segment over which tide observations are taken and reduced to obtain mean values(e.g., mean lower low water, etc.) for tidal datums. It is necessary for standardization because of apparent periodic and apparent secular trends in sea level. The present National Tidal Datum Epoch is 1960 through 1978.

ICE LIMIT

The climatological term referring to the extreme minimum or extreme maximum extent of the ice edge in any given month or period based on observations over a number of years. The term should be preceded by minimum or maximum, as appropriate.

LEAST SQUARES ADJUSTMENT

A statistical method of adjusting observations in which the sum of the squares of all the deviations or residuals derived in fitting the observations to a mathematical model is made a minimum.

AMBIGUITY

In navigation, the condition obtained when a given set of observations defines more than one point, direction, line of position, or surface of position

NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

A mathematical law which predicts the probability that the random error of any given observation of a series of observations of a certain quantity will lie within certain bounds. The law can be derived from the following properties of random errors: (1) positive and negative errors of the same magnitude are about equal in number, (2) small errors occur more frequently than large errors, and (3) extremely large errors rarely occur. One immediate consequence of these properties is that the average or mean value of a large number of observations of a given quantity is zero. Also called GAUSSIAN DISTRIBUTION.

BEARING CALIBRATION

The determination of bearing corrections of a radiodirection finder by observations of

COMPARISON OF SIMULTANEOUS OBSERVATIONS

A reduction process in which a short series of tide or tidal current observations at any place is compared with simultaneous observations at a control station where tidal or tidal current constants have previously been deter- mined from a long series of observations. For tides, it is usually used to adjust constants from a subordinate station to the equivalent of that which would be obtained from a 19-year series.

COMPARING WATCH

A watch used for timing observations of celestial bodies. Generally its error is determined by comparison with a chronometer, hence its name. A comparing watch normally has a large sweep second hand to facilitate reading time to the nearest second. Sometimes called HACK WATCH.

CONTROL CURRENT STATION

A current station at which continuous velocity observations have been made over a minimum of 29 days. Its purpose is to provide data for computing accepted values of the harmonic and nonharmonic constants essential to tidal current pre- dictions and circulatory studies. The data series from this station serves as the control for the reduction of relatively short series from subordinate current stations through the method of comparison of simultaneous observations.

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