Rotation Sensing with Large Ring Lasers

Small- and medium-sized gyroscopes, with areas of about 10-6 m2 and 0.02 m2, respectively, are well-established sensors that have been used for many years in robotic and consumer products and in inertial navigation.

This book describes large-area gyroscopes, typically about 1000 m2, for geodesy and geophysics. They are developed around a He-Ne ring laser and capable of resolving a rotation rate of ~10-13 rad for measuring quantities like solid tides, diurnal polar motions, and annual and Chandler wobble.

The first two chapters of the book cover the early development of gyroscopes and a summary of the fundamentals of He-Ne laser gyros. The next chapter treats in detail the design and construction of large-area gyroscopes and the control of many subtle error sources. Data processing and control of errors by auxiliary components is the topic of the next chapter, which describes new concepts for alternative approaches for high-resolution gyroscopes.

Finally, a summary of the performances and perspectives of large-area devices concludes the text. In conclusion, this book offers an invaluable treatment of He-Ne gyroscopes, rich in data and design criteria, that will be extremely useful for both designers and scientists interested in high-performance rotation sensing.

Review by Silvano Donati, University of Pavia, Italy.

The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or its publisher, Optica (formerly OSA).

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