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Find Terminal Coordinates, Given a Bearing and a Distance

This function will calculate the end coordinates, in degrees, minutes and seconds, given an initial set of coordinates, a bearing or azimuth (referenced to True North or 0 degrees), and a distance.

The function uses the Great Circle method of calculating distances between two points on the Earth.  The shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere is an arc, not a straight line.  (Try this using a string on a globe surface.)  Because of the curved surface, the angle from Point A looking to Point B will not be converse of the angle looking from Point B to Point A.  The function Distance Between Two Sets of Coordinates sets of coordinates, shows this more clearly.

Bearings or azimuths start with 0 degrees toward true north, 90 degrees east, 180 degrees south, and 270 degrees west (clockwise rotation).

Applicants will find this program helpful in determining compliance with the minimum spacing table in 47 CFR 73.207 for FM stations or 47 CFR 73.610 for television stations.  DXers (long distance listeners and viewers) can use this function to find the distance and bearings to, and antenna orientation to best receive, distant stations.  Station coordinates may be found through the AM Query, FM Query, or the TV Query.

Questions on Find Terminal Coordinates may be directed to Dale Bickel, dale.bickel@fcc.gov.


Information about AM and FM broadcast radio stations is available at the Audio Division on the FCC's website, and at Broadcast Radio Links.  Information about television stations is available at the Video Division.

FCC > Media Bureau > Audio Division and Video Division


Reviewed: November 5, 2014
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