The impact of the air temperature on measuring the zenith angle during the year in the ground layer of the atmosphere for the needs of engineering surveying


  • Tomáš Suk Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Special Geodesy, Thákurova 7, 160 00 Prague, Czech Republic
  • Martin Štroner Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Special Geodesy, Thákurova 7, 160 00 Prague, Czech Republic



Refraction, vertical temperature gradient, zenith angle, beam path, vertical shifts.


This paper presents the results of over a year-long experiment dealing with a temperature measurement to calculate the theoretical effect of the atmosphere on the measured zenith angle in engineering surveying. The measurements were performed to determine the accurate and specific temperatures (temperature gradients), which can be recorded in different seasons in the low level of the atmosphere (up to 2 m above the ground, where most Engineering Surveying measurements take place) for the geographical area of Central Europe - specifically the Czech Republic. A numerical model was then applied to the resulting determined temperature gradients to calculate the path of the beam passing through an inhomogeneous atmosphere. From these values, the apparent vertical shifts caused by refraction in a given environment and time were finally determined.


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