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View Full Version : what would a gyroscope do in space?



Chunky
2007-Oct-04, 09:13 PM
a gyroscope (sp?) what would it do?

nothing at all?

thats my guess.


what about...in the atmosphere(sp?) on a helicopter(God i suck at spell) (can i say suck on here?)

what is you attached a solid spinning flat disk replacing the tail end purpeller?

would it stabelize it?

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-04, 09:33 PM
(can i say suck on here?)
I guess, but I personally perfer "stink". It's good enough for Kim Possible.

alainprice
2007-Oct-04, 10:05 PM
It's been a while since I've done mechanics, but....

A spinning wheel has inertia related to its mass. Since mass is unaffected in space, you will feel the same forces on the gyroscope. Spin it up facing a star and it will want to keep pointing at that star.

I would not recommend using a gyrosope as a tail rotor because the tail tends to travel along the axis of spin. In other words, the tail of a helicopter is not trying to change the gyro's direction as much as you might expect, and therefore feels little force from it.

Does that answer your question?

pzkpfw
2007-Oct-04, 11:16 PM
The tail rotor is also used to control direction in a conventional helicopter, by altering the pitch of the blades.

It might be hard for a gyroscope to provide that kind of control.

Glutomoto
2007-Oct-05, 12:52 AM
what would it do in space?

a gyroscope (sp?) what would it do?

nothing at all?

thats my guess.


Why guess when you can google gyroscopes in space (http://www.google.com/search?q=gyroscopes+in+space&hl=en&rlz=1T4GFRC_enUS220US221&start=0&sa=N) and find out that gyroscopes are used in satellites, space telescopes, the space shuttle, and even ISS.

Like alainprice said:
A spinning wheel has inertia related to its mass. Since mass is unaffected in space, you will feel the same forces on the gyroscope. Spin it up facing a star and it will want to keep pointing at that star.

Which sounds like a job for Gravity Probe B (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/26apr_gpbtech.htm). So yes gyroscopes work very well in space to help stabilize and navigate.

:)

Chunky
2007-Oct-05, 02:22 PM
..could gravity be motion at great speeds that effect other things?

i just closed my eyes for a minute and asked thast...or thought it rather...i was thinking about

"A spinning wheel has inertia related to its mass. Since mass is unaffected in space, you will feel the same forces on the gyroscope. Spin it up facing a star and it will want to keep pointing at that star."


gravity from the star makes it want to keep pointing towards the star..so there is some sort of connection with gravity?.......

maybe gravity wont effect something that doesnt have gravity itself..

i got off of work from a 12 hour shift at 6. im tired..and at the library!

i love this place.

i stray..

do i make sence?

alainprice
2007-Oct-05, 03:15 PM
Gravity will only make odd shapes 'point'.

The gyroscope would have the symmetry needed to have gravity 'accelerate' it, but not alter the direction.

Hornblower
2007-Oct-05, 03:44 PM
..could gravity be motion at great speeds that effect other things?
What we commonly call gravity is always present around massive objects, regardless of their motion. It is modified slightly around a rapidly spinning object, in a phenomenon known as frame dragging.

i just closed my eyes for a minute and asked thast...or thought it rather...i was thinking about

"A spinning wheel has inertia related to its mass. Since mass is unaffected in space, you will feel the same forces on the gyroscope. Spin it up facing a star and it will want to keep pointing at that star."


gravity from the star makes it want to keep pointing towards the star..so there is some sort of connection with gravity?.......
The spinning gyro does not depend on the star's gravity to keep it pointed in that direction. It is a result of the wheel's inertia and momentum, in keeping with the principle of conservation of angular momentum.

If the gyro is in a flyby close to the star and is not pointed directly at it, the star's gravity will cause it to precess slowly.

maybe gravity wont effect something that doesnt have gravity itself..
What do you mean by "something that doesnt have gravity itself"?

i got off of work from a 12 hour shift at 6. im tired..and at the library!

i love this place.

i stray..

do i make sence?
You came to a good place to get good answers to questions about the basics of physics and astronomy. For starters try to keep your questions simple and don't ask too many all at once.

Michael Noonan
2007-Oct-05, 04:29 PM
This is the web page for Gravity Probe B
http://einstein.stanford.edu/highlights/hl.html

There is a conference coming up within a month so there may be some more detailed information come out of that.

ToSeek
2007-Oct-05, 07:35 PM
a gyroscope (sp?) what would it do?

nothing at all?

thats my guess.


what about...in the atmosphere(sp?) on a helicopter(God i suck at spell) (can i say suck on here?)

what is you attached a solid spinning flat disk replacing the tail end purpeller?

would it stabelize it?

Every spacecraft I've ever worked on (and it's getting to be a lot) has had gyroscopes on board, either to determine its attitude (inertial measurement units (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertial_Measurement_Unit)) or to adjust the attitude (reaction wheels (http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/ReactionWheel.html)), and usually both.

JohnD
2007-Oct-05, 09:34 PM
Johnathan,
I think your idea of a gyroscope as the tail rotor is fine! In principal anyway.
The axis should be the same as an airscrew rotor, OR along the long axis of the helicopter (pointing at the cockpit). Equally effective. A vertically axissed gyroscope would be ineffective.

But that effect would be too small to control flight, to counter the reaction against the main rotor, or turn the aircraft.

TS, how big would a gyroscope need to be to keep a spacecraft on track passively?
John

JustAFriend
2007-Oct-05, 10:29 PM
Dont forget they also took toy gyroscopes up in Skylab and other missions to show the TV-watching-folk decades ago....