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# Chord Factors - the nitty gritty.

First choose a tessellation of the sphere (icosa, octa, tetra, elliptical or really just
about anything. Second use geometry and spherical trig to determine the surface
arclengths for the specific tessellation. Third observe that in any circle a central
angle cuts off an arc with the same exact measure. Next, calculate the chord
factors: cf = 2sin(theta/2), where theta is the central angle. Finally, multiply each
Several dome books use the term ``alternate'' to refer to Class I domes (actually it
seems Joe Clinton in his paper on domes has determined several methods for
class I subdivisions - his method I is the ``alternate'' form). The other popular
subdivisioning scheme is based on the rhombic triacontrahedron and is called
``triacon.''
[From Steve Mather]

Hey all, I have some questions to ask about the trigonometry behind geodesic
domes. Remarkably, I've understood what I've encountered so far, and am well on
my way to calculating the the chord factors for a 5v icosa alternate (Why? when I
can look it up in a book? Well, I figured I'd prove to myself I can.) I've been able
to find those along the direct projection from the icosahedron (are 0.198147431
w/central angle of 11.3716678 degrees, 0.231597598 w/central angle of
13.29940137, and 0.245346417 w/central angle of 14.09281254 accurate
beginnings for the outside?
[A big thanks to Steve for calculating and typing in all this for us!!!
I'm not certain about the results, but he did such a careful job that I
suspect they are correct. I'm sure someone will check this more
carefully. Please let me know of any problems.]

The letters begin at the bottom of the horizontal edges to the triangle, from ``a'' to
whatever letter (depending upon the frequency --``a'' is the very bottom, as well
as the sides.) The numbers are the chord factors.
The way I calculated my factors was like this:
I took the frequency (f) and divided the degree of the central angle of that
frequency. I then multiplied this number times the number of rows down the row
of lines are (check figure.) I took the sine of this number and multiplied it times
the sine of the face angle (the angle between the great circles) to find the sine of
half of the angle across the row (whew-- is this making any sense? =) I then

multiply this angle times two and divide by the number of rows down (check
second sentence and figure.)
This gives me the angle of the geodesic I want. I then take these numbers and
divide by two, take the sine and multiply by two, to find the chord factor. These
chord factors are multiplied times the radius to get their lengths.
Here are the equations used:
f= frequency
n= number of rows
A= face angle
All numbers are in degrees
2 sin^-1((sin((63.43494885/f)*n))*sinA))

(the extra ")" shouldn't be there. sorry, my computer's acting up, and for some
reason I can't delete it.) That was the equation for getting the geodesic. The chord
factors are done from those by the following equation:
Angle= v 2sin (v/2)

2v icosa:

b= 0.6257378602
a= 0.5465330581

3v:

c= 0.4240625600
b= 0.4038282455
a= 0.3669588162

4v:

d=
c=
b=
a=

0.3212440714
0.3128689301
0.2980880630
0.2759044843

5v:

e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.2581842991
0.2539357295
0.2465769121
0.2357285878
0.2209776479

6v:

f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.2156929803
0.2132468999
0.2090569265
0.2029619174
0.1947619676
0.1842631079

7v:

g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.1851588097
0.1836232302
0.1810112024
0.1772461840
0.1722282186
0.1658460763
0.1579992952

8v:

h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.1621725970
0.1611459677
0.1594077788
0.1569181915
0.1536238835
0.1494619675
0.1443671359
0.1382831736

9v:

i=
h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.1442501297
0.1435301153
0.1423149814
0.1405824320
0.1383022055
0.1354375402
0.1319478012
0.1277927679
0.1229389715

10v:

j=
i=
h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.1298874025
0.1293630412
0.1284801673
0.1272255402
0.1255810391
0.1235242767
0.1210296754
0.1180702193
0.1146200925
0.1106583339

11v:

k=
j=
i=
h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.1181213623
0.1177276963
0.1170660293
0.1161281074
0.1149025743
0.1133752524
0.1115296266
0.1093476232
0.1068107860
0.1039019434
0.1006074045

12v

l=
k=
j=
i=
h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=

0.1083071374
0.1080040870
0.1074954030
0.1067757281
0.1058376643
0.1046719125
0.1032675068
0.1016121871
0.09969296006
0.09749689909
0.09501222476

a= 0.09222967293

13v

m=
l=
k=
j=
i=
h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.09999681431
0.09975856278
0.09935906240
0.09879471539
0.09806054042
0.09715024635
0.09605635362
0.09477038423
0.09328314541
0.09158513461
0.08966709201
0.08752071743
0.08513955025

14v

n=
m=
l=
k=
j=
i=
h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.09286965560
0.09267896531
0.09235948034
0.09190871293
0.09132321201
0.09059860431
0.08972966070
0.08871039868
0.08753423341
0.08619419334
0.08468321460
0.08299452818
0.08112214654
0.07906144555

15v

o=
n=
m=
l=
k=
j=
i=
h=
g=
f=
e=
d=
c=
b=
a=

0.08668999531
0.08653500116
0.08627549580
0.08590971508
0.08543520816
0.08484886148
0.08414693683
0.08332512917
0.08237865120
0.08130235310
0.07955142649
0.07873891823
0.07724141051
0.07559395328
0.07379316114

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