Standard error

February 1, 2010
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Posted By Alan Cook on 1/31/2010 at 9:14 AM

I performed a solar observation the other day with 12 observations, 6 direct, 6 reverse. The results of those observations are as follows:

1. S33°27'15"E
2. S33°27'17"E
3. S33°27'19"E
4. S33°27'17"E
5. S33°27'21"E
6. S33°27'18"E
7. S33°27'23"E
8. S33°27'22"E 
9. S33°27'25"E
10. S33°27'13"E
11. S33°27'19"E
12. S33°27'16"E

My question is this; what is the standard deviation of that set and is standard deviation the same thing as standard error when applied to this scenario? 

I don't have a strong background in statistics, but I'm trying to learn. I really want to start applying Least Squares analysis to my work.

For the record, I came up with a standard deviation of 3.3". The observations were made with a Topcon GTS 302 instrument, backsighting a prism on a tripod and tribrach that were in good adjustment at a distance of 583.80 feet. The DIN specs on that instrument list it as having an angular accuracy of 3". The observations were Trailing edge method.

I realize that by following certain guidelines posted here once before that I can test the angular accuracy of my instrument and come up with real world accuracies, provided I come to grips with statistics, hence, I need to know that what I'm doing when it comes to computing standard error is correct.

Thanks for the help.

alan

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