Error analysis in trifilar inertia measurements

Jonathan Luke du Bois, Nick A. J. Lieven, Sondipon Adhikari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


Accurate calculation of the moment of inertia of an irregular body is made difficult by the large number of quantities which must be measured. A popular method is to use a trifilar suspension system to measure the period of oscillation of the body in the horizontal plane. In this paper, some sources of error are discussed with particular attention given to the alignment of the test object’s center of mass on the trifilar platform. The procedure is described, the necessary calculations are derived and the relative importance of accuracy in different measurements is assesed. It is determined that the accurate alignment of the centre of mass of the body being tested with the centre of the trifilar plate is insignificant compared to the accuracy of the other measurements required in the calculations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-540
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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