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Photonics Dictionary

phototheodolite

A camera equipped with angular scales in altitude and azimuth. The scale readings are imprinted on the film when an exposure is made. The exact point indicated by the scale readings is shown by fiducial marks on the film. The focal length of the lens makes it possible to assign precise angle coordinates to every object in the field by measurements on the film after processing. If two phototheodolites are used at the ends of a known base line, accurate range determinations can be made. For a moving object such as a rocket in flight, 35-mm motion-picture film is used and the instrument then is called a cinetheodolite. Because of the narrow angular field of the camera, a pair of tracking telescopes is used so that the object can be kept in the field at all times.
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