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Law of Cosines/ Law of Sines Real World Application Problems

Author: Shea H.
Description:

To be able to solve real-world problems using the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines

This tutorial reviews two real-world problems, one using the Law of Sines and one using the Law of Cosines.

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Tutorial

Law of Cosines Problem:

Scientists in Houston are trying to figure out the distance from a satellite to Cape Canaveral. They know that the satellite is 530 miles from Houston at an 85º angle of elevation, and Houston and Cape Canaveral, in a straight line from one to the other, are 902 miles apart.

How far is the satellite from Cape Canaveral?

Law of Sines Problem:

A helicopter is hovering between two helicopter pads. The pilot knows that he flew into the air at a 70º angle to get to his current position. He also knows that the two pads are 50,000 feet apart. He wants to practice his descent so that he lands at a 65° angle.

If he were to start descending now, how many feet would he have to travel in descent to land at a 65° angle?