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6. Deflection Angles from Azimuths

(a) Process

Because a deflection angle is the angle from the projection of the previous line to the next line, it is the difference between the azimuths of the two lines. For example, in the diagram below the deflection angle Y is the difference between the outgoing azimuth (AzYZ) and the incoming azimuth (AzXY).

defl angY = AzYZ-AzXY

By subtracting the incoming azimuth from the outgoing azimuth, the correct mathematical sign is returned for the deflection angle. In the previous diagram, the deflection angle would be to the left. In the following diagram:

az to defl ang 2

the deflection angle is to the right.

Whether you remember to subtract the incoming from the outgoing azimuth or not, the important thing is that the deflection angle is the difference between the azimuths. As in may survey computations, a properly drawn sketch is extremely beneficial.

(b) Example Azimuths to Deflection Angles

At point L

At point M

At point N

At point O

Looking at the diagram, the deflection angle should be to the right so the difference should be positive.
Because the difference falls outside of the ±180°00'00" deflection angle range, add 360°00'00" to it:

The is the same result if you added 360°00'00" to the outgoing azimuth before subtracting the incoming azimuth.

BTW, a deflection of 84°31'35"R is the same as a 275°28'25"L deflection.

At point P

Math check

For a non-crossing loop traverse, the deflection angle sum should be ±360°