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RESEARCH PAPERS

Review of Gas-Bearing Gyro Development in the United Kingdom

[+] Author and Article Information
A. G. Patterson

Admiralty Compass Observatory, Slough, England

J. of Lubrication Tech 90(4), 741-752 (Oct 01, 1968) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3601712 History: Received March 25, 1968; Online August 23, 2011

Abstract

This paper describes development and progress in the application of aerodynamic gas bearings to gyro-spin axes in the United Kingdom since early 1959, when work in this field was begun by the British Navy Department. Since that time, about a dozen organizations have become engaged in or are closely associated with such work. Most applications hitherto have been government-sponsored, and are concerned with marine, air, or space navigation or stabilization, but work, for the commercial market, particularly to meet needs in the aviation industry, is being vigorously carried out. The organizations involved in or associated with gas-bearing gyro work and their specific interests are summarized in Tables 1 and 2 covering naval, aviation, space, and commercial interests, respectively. Further details are given in the text in some of the cases where more advanced R&D or production stages have been reached. The greater complexity and the more exacting requirements of gyros of higher precision, such as are needed for marine inertial navigation, have made necessary the evolution not only of higher accuracy machining and metrology, achieved with cooperation from British Industry, but also of new techniques for dynamic measurements. Some of the highlights of associated technologies are summarized but fuller information is given in the references. In addition, unforeseen starting problems have triggered off programs of work on specialized aspects of cleaning and boundary lubrication which, although hitherto incomplete, are yielding promising results. Inertial navigation, weapon and general stabilization gyros for the Navy Department are now in full industrial production. Other classes in the U.K. have reached advanced stages of R&D and continuing expansion on work in both marine and air classes of gas-bearing gyros is expected. Closer association within the field of general gas-bearing technology both within the United Kingdom and abroad is being actively sought, particularly by government and university orgnizations in the expectation that long-term mutual benefits will follow.

Copyright © 1968 by ASME
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