What Is A Fiber Optic Gyroscope?

Optical gyroscope is an instrument that can accurately determine the position of a moving object. It is an inertial navigation instrument widely used in modern aviation, navigation, aerospace and defense industries. A fiber optic gyroscope is a sensitive element based on a fiber optic coil. The light emitted by the laser diode propagates along the fiber in two directions. Different light propagation paths determine the angular displacement of the sensitive element.

Compared with the traditional mechanical gyroscope, the fiber optic gyroscope has the advantages of all solid state, no rotating parts and friction parts, long life, large dynamic range, instant startup, simple structure, small size and light weight. Compared with the laser gyroscope, the fiber-optic gyroscope does not have a locking problem, nor does it need to precisely process the optical path in a quartz block, and the cost is relatively low.

The realization of fiber optic gyroscope is mainly based on Segnik’s theory: When the light beam travels in a circular channel, if the circular channel itself has a rotation speed, the time required for the light to travel along the direction of rotation of the channel is longer than along the channel. It takes more time to move in the opposite direction. That is to say, when the optical loop rotates, in different directions of travel, the optical path of the optical loop will change relative to the optical path when the loop is at rest. By using this change of the optical path, the phase difference of the two optical paths or the change of the interference fringes can be detected, and the rotational angular velocity of the optical path can be measured. This is the working principle of the fiber optic gyroscope.

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