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What is a Clinometer?

Meaning of Clinometer

A clinometer is a measuring device that can be used in several different professions. Also known as an inclinometer, the device’s essential function is to determine accurate measurements as regards slope, height, and distance.

The clinometer is often used in the meteorology profession, as well as in forestry and surveying.

One of the most common applications of the clinometer has to do with the measurement of angles, as they relate to the slope of natural formations or buildings and other human construction projects.

The idea is to measure the angle with a view to identifying any slope, with respect to the gravity involved. The clinometer can be used to measure both slopes and declines, depending on the perspective of the individual calculating the measurements.

A clinometer is used to determine precise measurements in regards to slope, height and distance.

Along with slope measurement, the clinometer is also used in the forestry field. When measuring natural formations found in forested areas, the inclinometer is also used as a means of measuring tree height.

Using the directed beam emitted by the device, it is possible to determine the height without having to use conventional means to actually measure the tree.

A clinometer can be used to measure angles relative to the slope of buildings.

The clinometer is also useful for meteorologists who want to measure cloud height at night. Again, by making use of the narrow beam of light that the device emits, it is possible to aim the beam at a point in the clouds and measure how far from the earth’s surface the cloud formation is.

This can help the meteorologist accurately predict a number of different weather conditions.

The clinometer has existed since the beginning of the 20th century. Early versions relied heavily on weights as a means of determining slope and distance.

Later incarnations of the clinometer made use of curved glass tubes filled with some kind of damping liquid and a steel ball to plot angles and slopes. Today, the use of electronic sensors is an important component in the design and operation of the modern inclinometer.

A meteorologist can use a clinometer to measure the height of clouds at night.

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