The World’s First Doctor Of Inertial Navigation

“Our generation studied under artillery fire, pioneered in the thorns, through wind and rain, with sweat and youth, realized the magnificent dreams of rocket launch, satellite orbiting, spacecraft landing on Mars, and setting foot on Mars for the motherland. Won the “July 1 Medal” Later, Lu Yuanjiu, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation Science and Technology Committee, described his experience in this way.

Lu Yuanjiu was born in an ordinary family in Anhui Province in 1920 and received a good education since childhood. He went to university during the war and graduated from the Aeronautical Engineering Department of Central University. In the mid-1940s, Lu Yuanjiu, who had stayed in school to teach, was admitted to the first batch of publicly funded international students to the United States. Going to the United States is not easy. At that time, there were so many mines in the Pacific. He had to fly from Chongqing to Kunming and then from Kunming to Kolkata, India. He waited for the ship for two months.

Lu Yuanjiu went to the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and boldly chose a major he had never heard of before—instrumentation. The Ph.D. in Instrumentation was established by Professor Draper, the “Father of Inertial Navigation”. He advocated applying the theory and methods of automatic control to the field of inertial measurement technology, that is, relying on control technology to improve the accuracy of the inertial measurement system, and created the inertial navigation technology.

This technology is very critical, and the US government has listed it as an important military research project. It is also a brand new concept. Because of the high degree of professional difficulty, there were very few applicants before. But Lu Yuanjiu found it challenging and exciting. He became Draper’s first doctoral student. After staying in the United States for 4 years, Lu Yuanjiu received his doctorate in 1949, and was later hired by the school as an associate researcher to continue his military scientific research.

In April 1956, Lu Yuanjiu’s family boarded the ship returning to China. At that time, inertial navigation was called world-class technology. Lu Yuanjiu returned with the most advanced technology and a pure heart. After returning to China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences is preparing for the establishment of the Institute of Automation, and the state has sent Lu Yuanjiu, who has expertise in this area, to the Institute of Automation as a researcher, research director, and later deputy director to participate in the preparation and research and development of inertial navigation technology. The conditions are difficult, the research design does not have any original data, and most of the time I cross the river by feeling the stones.

In the early 1960s, Lu Yuanjiu was in charge of a number of tasks at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Science and Technology of China, working more than ten hours a day. In 1964, his painstaking work “Gyro and Inertial Navigation Principles (Volume 1)” was published. This is one of the earliest monographs on inertial technology in my country, and it has played an important role in promoting the development of inertial technology in China.

In 1965, Lu Yuanjiu presided over the establishment of the Liquid Floating Inertial Technology Research Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and concurrently served as the director of the research room. He presided over the development of my country’s single-degree-of-freedom liquid floating gyroscope, liquid floating accelerometer and liquid floating gyroscope stabilized platform. In Changchun, my country’s first large-scale precision centrifuge was also born under his auspices. Lu Yuanjiu said that these are all independently developed by our country, and there is no experience and data to refer to.

In 1978, Lu Yuanjiu was transferred to the Beijing Institute of Control Devices as the director. He actively participated in the demonstration of the aerospace model scheme, guided the demonstration of the inertial guidance scheme of a new generation of launch vehicle based on the development trend of foreign inertial technology and the domestic technical foundation, and decided to adopt a single-degree-of-freedom gyroscope based on the new supporting technology to form a platform— Computer program.

He has always advocated tracking the world’s cutting-edge technology. Under the leadership of Lu Yuanjiu, China Aerospace has successively carried out pre-research topics such as hydrostatic liquid support technology and the development of various test equipment.

Lu Yuanjiu also wrote an article, pointing out that scientific researchers must have a scientific and rigorous attitude, pragmatic style and perseverance. This style of work is embodied in taking every theoretical analysis, every design document, every test, and every data in the work seriously, and there is no room for omissions. “I think that to do this job, you must have the momentum to run 100 meters, and you must have the endurance to run 10,000 meters.”

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