New optical gyroscope is more accurate and as small as a grain of rice

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Calliers, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Calliers

    Calliers HH's MC Staff Member

    Oct 12, 2004
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    Accelerometers and gyroscopes are often paired together for motion tracking and orientation detection within cell phones, tablets, game controllers, vehicles, and dozens of other common everyday devices. Building super small devices that are both precise and accurate is already difficult enough, but achieving the best possible accuracy today requires a device roughly the size of a golf ball.

    Researchers from Caltech have developed an optical gyroscope that is no larger than a grain of rice and has higher accuracy than the more common MEMS gyroscopes most people have in their electronics. Instead of using identical oscillating masses that move, optical gyroscopes rely on the Sagnac Effect.

    Going back to Einstein's theory of general relativity, French physicist Georges Sagnac created a technique to measure a differential time of flight. A light beam is split into two where each beam moves around a circular path and hits a sensor at the other end of the path. Rotating an optical gyroscope causes one of the two beams of light to take a longer path, thus allowing the orientation of a device to be calculated from the difference in times between each beam of light hitting a detector. The phase shift that occurs is called the Sagnac effect.

    Source: techspot

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