Behind the scenes of recovering NASA's Hubble

In the early morning of October 27, the Hubble Space Telescope targeted a field of galaxies not far from the Great Square in the constellation Pegasus. Contained in the field were star-forming galaxies up to 11 billion light-years ...

Hubble moving closer to normal science operations

NASA took great strides last week to press into service a Hubble Space Telescope backup gyroscope (gyro) that was incorrectly returning extremely high rotation rates. The backup gyro was turned on after the spacecraft entered ...

Mars Express v.2.0

Every so often, your smartphone or tablet receives new software to improve its functionality and extend its life. Now, ESA's Mars Express is getting a fresh install, delivered across over 150 million km of space.

Toyota's i-Road to debut at the Geneva Motor Show

( —Look, it's a hooded scooter. No, it's a trike house. No, it's a, well, it's a concept. The category-challenged debut of the Toyota i-Road will nonetheless attract a number of interested viewers at this week's ...

NASA celebrates 50 years of planetary exploration

(—Fifty years ago on a mid-December day, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft sailed close to the shrouded planet Venus, marking the first time any spacecraft had ever successfully made a close-up study of another planet. ...

QFO Labs wants to send palm-sized copters out to play

(—A Minnesota-based trio running a company called QFO Labs, with the focus on "high tech gaming concepts," will be the first to assure that their game idea can in no way be confused with the mall variety of remote-controlled ...

New micro gyro technology for DARPA to be developed

The Georgia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation, has been selected to develop a new type of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) gyroscope technology for the Defense Advanced Research ...

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A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation, based on the principles of conservation of angular momentum. In essence, a mechanical gyroscope is a spinning wheel or disk whose axle is free to take any orientation. Although this orientation does not remain fixed, it changes in response to an external torque much less and in a different direction than it would without the large angular momentum associated with the disk's high rate of spin and moment of inertia. Since external torque is minimized by mounting the device in gimbals, its orientation remains nearly fixed, regardless of any motion of the platform on which it is mounted.

Gyroscopes based on other operating principles also exist, such as the electronic, microchip-packaged MEMS gyroscope devices found in consumer electronic devices, solid-state ring lasers, fibre optic gyroscopes, and the extremely sensitive quantum gyroscope.

Applications of gyroscopes include inertial navigation systems where magnetic compasses would not work (as in the Hubble telescope) or would not be precise enough (as in ICBMs), or for the stabilization of flying vehicles like radio-controlled helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles. Due to their precision, gyroscopes are also used to maintain direction in tunnel mining.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA