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Encyclopedia > Gimbal

A gimbal is a mechanical device that allows the rotation of an object in multiple dimensions. It is typically made up of two or three pairs of pivots, mounted on axes at right angles. A three-axis gimbal may allow an object mounted on it to remain in a horizontal plane regardless of the motion of its support. Shipboard compasses, chronometers, stove and even drink holders are typically mounted on gimbals to keep them level to the horizon at all times. Categories: Math stubs | Mathematical tools ... A chronometer is a clock designed to have sufficient long-term accuracy that it can be used as a portable time standard on a vehicle, usually in order to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation. ... A stove is a heat-producing device. ... Horizon. ...

Illustration of a simple two-axis gimbal.
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Illustration of a simple two-axis gimbal.

In aerospace navigation, a gimbal is a device using Euler angles to measure the rotation of an object in three dimensions and to control that rotation. Gimbals used in spacecraft have three sets of three gyroscopes in the inertial measurement unit (IMU), one for each axis (x, y, and z). These gyros provide a stable reference to the vehicle's position and attitude in all three dimensions. Image File history File links Two-axis_gimbal. ... Image File history File links Two-axis_gimbal. ... Euler angles are the classical way of representing rotations in 3-dimensional Euclidean space, named after Leonhard Euler. ... A spacecraft is a vehicle, vessel, craft or device designed to operate beyond the surface of the Earth in outer space. ... A gyroscope For other uses, see Gyroscope (disambiguation). ...


Gimbal lock occurs when all three gyros hit the limits of their ability to move within the sensing mechanism—they hit hard stops and stop moving around. In gyroscopic devices controlled by Euler mechanics or Euler angles, gimbal lock is caused by the alignment of two of the three gimbals together so that one of the rotation references (pitch/yaw/roll, often yaw) is cancelled. ...


In a normal situation, the gyros are aligned with the vehicle's local reference - +x being in the velocity vector, +z being in a radial vector pointing to the earth (for earth orbiting vehicles) and basically pointing downward (using the control panel for reference) in the Apollo CM, and +y being a right-handed complement to the +x vector. Aligning the platform (the IMU's) was done at launch (to give an initial position) and at various times during the mission when the vehicle's position is accurately known. During AS-XII, the movement of the vehicle exceeded the normal rates for movement in the respective axis, and was nearly hitting the stops in the IMU. In physics and in vector calculus, a spatial vector is a concept characterized by a magnitude, which is a scalar, and a direction (which can be defined in a 3-dimensional space by the Euler angles). ... Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America (NASA) using the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle, conducted during the years 1961–1975. ...


The "eight-ball" was used for gravity-oriented flight parameters only. It was basically the same as the "eight-ball" flown on airplanes - that is - a gyroscopic platform which aligned to the local gravity field.


Gimbal mechanisms are also used in some mirror mounts, for precision rotation of optical elements without translation. Two kinematic mirror mounts, with mirrors. ... Table of Opticks, 1728 Cyclopaedia Optics ( appearance or look in ancient Greek) is a branch of physics that describes the behavior and properties of light and the interaction of light with matter. ...


In spacecraft propulsion, "gimbaled" refers to a pivoting or swiveling mount, often for a rocket engine. For example the space shuttle main engines are gimbaled -- they can point in different directions to control the vehicle flight path. A remote camera captures a close-up view of a Space Shuttle Main Engine during a test firing at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi Spacecraft propulsion is used to change the velocity of spacecraft and artificial satellites, or in short, to provide delta-v. ... A pivot is that on which something turns. ... A cold (un-ignited) rocket engine test at NASA A rocket engine is a reaction engine that can be used for spacecraft propulsion as well as terrestrial uses, such as missiles. ... Space Shuttle Main Engine block The Space Shuttle orbiter has three main engines. ...


The world's largest gimbal was constructed to simulate the capsizing of the USS Oklahoma in the movie Pearl Harbor. USS Oklahoma (BB-37), a Nevada-class battleship was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 46th state. ... Pearl Harbor is a war film (associated with propaganda-art) released in the summer of 2001 by Touchstone Pictures. ...


In saltwater fishing,it is also a device used for landing large fish. When fishing with a large rod, a gimbal transfers the weight of the rod from the arms and wrists of the angler to the hip or waist, effectively allowing the angler to concentrate on leveraging the rod instead.


Inside the gimbal there is usually a horizontal pin that the fishing rod locks into, allowing rotation of the rod in one plane only, up and down.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
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Gimbal staking process is tolerant of angular misalignment in the x and y axes caused by component and fixture variations.
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Gimbal mounts are also used to test and calibrate inertial sensors, seeker heads and gyros.
Newmark's high precision 12" gimbal system is designed for general purpose pointing, scanning and tracking applications for large optics, antennae and other sensors.
Newmark's high precision 20" gimbal system is designed for general purpose pointing, scanning and tracking applications for large optics, antennae and other sensors.
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