Operating a Theodolite Part 2
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In today’s theodolites, the reading out of the horizontal and vertical circles is usually done electronically with a rotary encoder. Additionally, lately CCD sensors have been added to the focal plane of the telescope allowing both auto-targeting and the automated measurement of residual target offset. All this is implemented in embedded software.

Also, many modern theodolites, costing up to $50,000 apiece, are equipped with integrated electro-optical distance measuring devices, generally infrared based, allowing the measurement in one go of complete three-dimensional vectors — albeit in instrument-defined polar co-ordinates, which can then be transformed to a pre-existing co-ordinate system in the area by means of a sufficient number of control points. This technique...More

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