The electronic control of gyroscopes.

  • Brian Johnson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The work reported in this thesis describes the design and implementation of three electronic controllers for a miniature two axis gyroscope. In particular the design is based upon the Microflex Gyroscope, which is manufactured by British Aerospace. Two variants of the Microflex gyroscope have been considered; the combined pickoff and torquer gyroscope and the separate pickoff and torquer gyroscope. These two gyroscopes are mechanically identical but feature different pickoff and torquer arrangements. The thesis traces the history of the gyroscope from its origins to the development of small two axis rate sensors. It includes a detailed description of the Microflex gyroscope and develops mathematical models to describe its behaviour. The electronic controllers are used to sense the angular displacement of the gyroscope, condition these signals then apply them as feedback to the gyroscope to null the displacement. The control is applied in the form of a type II servo system, hence the output from the system is a measure of the angular rate which is applied to the gyroscope. The design of an analogue controller is developed for the combined pickoff and torquer gyroscope. The restrictions of the design of the controller due to this transducer configuration are identified. To overcome these restrictions and to increase the design options an analogue controller for the separate pickoff and torquer gyroscope was developed and implemented. This work lead into the design and implementation of a digital controller. The advantages of this design over a traditional analogue system are discussed. Both modelled and practical results for all three systems are presented in the thesis. These show that design objectives can be achieved using simple design rules which have been developed as the designs progressed.
Date of Award1985
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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