Gyroscopes are devices used to sense rotation and are typically used in inertial navigation of objects and vehicles - particularly when reliance on a magnetic compass is insufficient or not possible. Unfortunately, mechanical gyros are typically quite large and massive. They also tend to be sensitive to shock and vibration, and can have poor reliability due to fabrication tolerances, as well as mechanical wear over time. Further, fiber-optic gyroscopes - a common gyroscope configuration - suffers from “frequency lock-up” making them unable to sense rotation that is below a certain threshold. Therefore, the need for a fiber-optic gyroscope that does not exhibit frequency lock-up at low rotation rates remains.
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have pioneered a method for preventing ring laser gyroscopes optical lock-up using orthogonal counter-propagating optical beams. This method significantly reduces lock-up. It employs orthogonal counter-propagating light signals to reduce or eliminate coupling between the clock-wise and counter-clock-wise propagating light signals and as a result any coupling between the light signals has little or no effect on either one of them.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||10,180,325||01/15/2019||2016-772|