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Published on Jan 12, 2012
Laser GyroscopeAs you know, a mechanical gyroscope is based on a rotor that maintains its position in space. The faster the rotor rotates, the more resistant it becomes to any attempts to change its rotation axis direction. However, such gyroscopes have a number of disadvantages.Firstly, the require unique bearings;Secondly, they require ultimate balancing;Thirdly, axis friction causes the gyroscope drift which must be made up for to obtain correct readings.A laser gyroscope was designed to avoid such disadvantages. This gyroscope is based on a different angular speed measurement principle. It provides for measuring the difference between optical paths for the left and right rotational rays. The ring laser gyroscope was the first to employ this principle. It had a monolithic base and looked like an equilateral triangle. Its resonator had three mirrors located at the triangle corners. One of mirrors sent a signal to the photo electric detector. A two-way mirror divided light into two beams that move towards each other, covering the paths of equal optical length.If the system is idle, both beams went back to the two-way mirror at regular intervals.If the system was rotating, for example, to the right, it took for the right rotation beam more time as compared to the idle state and the left rotation beam covered the path at smaller time but in the opposite direction.If both beams coming from one and the same two-way mirror override, you can determine the angular speed based on the difference of their optical paths.Laser gyroscopes offer such advantage as low inertness. Laser gyroscopes find wide application in aircraft, marine, automotive, and robotic engineering industries.