What is Theodolite?

Basic surveying instrument of unknown origin but going back to the 16th-century English mathematician Leonard Digges; it is used to measure horizontal and vertical angles. In its modern form it consists of a telescope mounted to swivel both horizontally and vertically.

A theodolite is a precision instrument for measuring angles in the horizontal and vertical planes. Theodolites are used mainly for surveying applications, and have been adapted for specialized purposes in fields like metrology and rocket launch technology. A modern theodolite consists of a movable telescope mounted within two perpendicular axes the horizontal or trunnion axis, and the vertical axis. When the telescope is pointed at a target object, the angle of each of these axes can be measured with great precision.