Abstract For the sake of advancing theoretical research about atmospheric refraction, the atmospheric refraction observed at lower angles of elevation is still worth analyzing and exploring. In some engineering applications, objects with a larger zenith distance must sometimes be observed. Carrying out observational research on atmospheric refraction at lower angles of elevation has an important significance. However, it has been considered difficult to measure the atmospheric refraction at lower angles of elevation. A new idea for determining atmospheric refraction by utilizing differential measurement with double fields of view is proposed. Taking the observational principle used by the HIPPARCOS satellite as a reference, a prototype with double fields of view was developed. In August 2013, experimental observations were carried out and atmospheric refractions at lower angles of elevation were obtained by the prototype. The measured value of atmospheric refraction at a zenith distance of 78.8° was 240.23"± 0.27", and the feasibility of differential measurement of atmospheric refraction with double fields of view was verified. Limitations of the prototype, such as inadequate ability to gather light, lack of accurate meteorological data recording, and a low level of automation in observation and data processing, are pointed out, which need to be improved in subsequent work.
Keywords astrometry — atmospheric effects — methods: observational
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