Circular error probable

In the military science of ballistics, circular error probable (CEP)[1] (also circular error probability[2] or circle of equal probability[3]) is a measure of a weapon system's precision. It is defined as the radius of a circle, centered on the mean, whose perimeter is expected to include the landing points of 50% of the rounds; said otherwise, it is the median error radius.[4][5] That is, if a given munitions design has a CEP of 100 m, when 100 munitions are targeted at the same point, 50 will fall within a circle with a radius of 100 m around their average impact point. (The distance between the target point and the average impact point is referred to as bias.)

CEP concept and hit probability. 0.2% outside the outmost circle.

There are associated concepts, such as the DRMS (distance root mean square), which is the square root of the average squared distance error, and R95, which is the radius of the circle where 95% of the values would fall in.

The concept of CEP also plays a role when measuring the accuracy of a position obtained by a navigation system, such as GPS or older systems such as LORAN and Loran-C.


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