Requirements for the guidance and control of ships, aircraft, spacecraft, submarines, and missiles have made development of the gyroscope—the spinning top—an important technology. This book provides the engineer, the navigator, and the student with theory and practical knowledge of how these instruments are made and how they function. A self-contained text, the book starts from basic theoretical concepts of motion and mechanics and works through the instrument theory toward practical applications. There is extensive material in the later chapters on the design and testing of gyroscopic instruments. Some attempt has been made to indicate the chronological order in which developments have taken place.
The material for the book—the illustrative problems and numerous exercises—was generated by faculty, research staff, and students associated with the instrumentation Laboratory and the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at M.I.T. The notation used in the book has also evolved over the years. It is intended to be useful, compact, and consistent. Its systematic nature makes it less difficult to express and understand the meaning of complicated physical quantities. Though the book is intended for a one-semester course for undergraduate technical education should, with reasonable effort, be able to absorb the theory by himself without recourse to other material.
1. Introduction • 2. Motion, Frames of Reference, and the Theorem of Coriolis • 3. The Laws of Mechanics • 4. The Gyro Model • 5. Two-Degree-of-Freedom Gyroscopes • 6. Single-Degree-of-Freedom Gyroscopes • 7. Aircraft Attitude Indication • 8. Gyrodirectional Instruments • 9. The Space Integrator • 10. The Gyrocompass • 11. The Vertical: Vertical-Indicating Systems and Schuler Tuning • 12. Inertial Navigation • 13. General Considerations for Gyroscope Design • 14. Design of Gyroscopes • 15. Testing of Gyroscopes • Appendix: Coordinate Transformation