People often use “too busy to find the north” to describe being too busy and unconscious. Interestingly, why don’t people say “Can’t find East” or “Can’t find West”? Does North have any specific meaning? This is indeed the case. In the past, humans used Polaris to determine the direction. If they cannot find North, they will lose their direction.
“North” in our daily life is a rough term. In the field of geographic information, north can be divided into two types: magnetic north and true north. Magnetic north refers to the “north” in the earth’s magnetic field, while true north refers to the “north” in the earth’s latitude and longitude circle.
In modern engineering surveys, true north is often used as the reference for determining the bearing. Therefore, people have used many different methods to find the “North” guy, such as astronomical north seeking, geomagnetic north seeking, inertial north seeking, and electromagnetic north seeking.
The invention of the gyrocompass was of great significance. It not only met the needs of ship navigation at that time, but also promoted the development of gyro theory. Gyrotheodolites and strapdown gyro north seekers were successively introduced. Why can the gyroscope look north? This involves the two north seeking principles of the north seeking instrument.
Dynamic north seeking refers to the use of the dynamic effects of the mutual influence between the rotation of the gyroscope and the rotation of the earth, such as a gyrocompass and a gyrotheodolite. Kinematic north seeking refers to the north finding by measuring the horizontal component of the earth’s rotation angular velocity through a gyroscope, and the strapdown north gyroscope falls into this category.
Strapdown north finder needs to “level first, then seek north”. However, leveling is often time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially for high-precision, fast leveling of large vehicle-mounted platforms, which is quite difficult. If the north seeker can directly seek north in a tilted state, it will completely solve the problems caused by leveling. This is the starting point for the development of a full attitude north finder. The so-called “full attitude north seeking” refers to the ability to seek north in various tilt states. Its significance lies not only in being able to accurately seek north in a tilted state, but more importantly, the changes brought by the system’s aiming and measurement methods. Because of this, “full attitude north seeking” will become one of the development directions of north seeking in the military field.
The gyro north seeking method does not require astronomical observation, does not rely on the geomagnetic field, is not affected by iron materials, and determines the true north of the earth. Its autonomy and all-weather characteristics are of great significance in the military field.
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