How to make Gyro North Seeking?

A gyroscope rotor maintains the direction of its plane of rotation unless an external force of sufficient amplitude to overcome inertia is applied to alter that direction.

What are factors on which gyroscopic inertia depend?

Gyroscopic inertia depends upon the momentum of the spinning rotor. The momentum of such a rotor depends upon three main factors:

  • The total mass, M of the rotor (for all particles).
  • The radius r summed as the constant K (for all the particles) where K is the radius of gyration.
  • The angular velocity.

Precession is the term used to describe the movement of the axle of a gyroscope under the influence of an external force. If a force is applied to the rotor by moving one end of its axle, the gyroscope will be displaced at an angle of 90° from the applied force

gyro precession

What is controlled Gyroscope?

A free gyroscope suffers an apparent movement in both azimuth and tilt of the rotor axis depending upon its latitudinal location. When fitted to a vessel the latitude is known and consequently the extent of movement in azimuth and tilt is also known. It is possible therefore to calculate the necessary force required to produce a reciprocal action to correct the effect of apparent movement.

A force can be applied to the gyro that will cause both azimuth and tilt precession to occur in opposition to the unwanted force caused by the gyro’s position on the earth. If the gyro is drifting in azimuth at ‘D’ degrees per hour in an anticlockwise direction, an upward force sufficient to cause clockwise precession at a rate of ‘–D’ degrees per hour must be applied vertically to the appropriate end of the rotor axle. The result will be that the gyro drift is cancelled and the instrument points to a fixed point on earth.

Gyro tilt movement can also be cancelled in a similar way by applying an equal and opposite force horizontally to the appropriate end of the rotor axle.

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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