3 DOF Gyroscope

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Experimental Platform for Study of Rotational Dynamics

The 3 DOF Gyroscope is a dynamically diverse experimental platform ideal for study of rotational dynamics principles related to the real-life applications including altitude control, momentum wheel control, navigation, satellite orientation, auto-pilot systems and technical devices with gyroscopic sensors, such as smart phones, tablets or video game controllers. Students learn how to:

  • obtain a state-space representation of the open-loop system
  • design a state-feedback gain for the closed-loop system using Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) optimization
  • simulate the system using the designed controller and ensure stability of the system
  • implement the state-feedback controller on the system and evaluate its performance

In addition to teaching active control concepts, the 3 DOF Gyroscope can be also used for research in various areas, including nonlinear control and system identification.

How It Works

The 3 DOF Gyroscope utilizes the principles of angular momentum to measure and sustain orientation. This robust system consists of a disk mounted inside an inner blue gimbal which in turn is mounted inside an outer red gimbal. The entire structure is supported by a rectangular silver frame that is free to rotate about its vertical axis of symmetry using a slip ring design. The gimbals are also equipped with slip rings, allowing them to rotate freely and giving the disk three degrees of freedom.

The plant is equipped with four DC motors and four encoders. Separate motors actuate both the disk’s spin axis and the blue and red gimbals. The fourth motor controls the gray rectangular frame which can be used to create a controlled disturbance. Digital position of all the axes is measured using high-resolution optical encoders. Although the gimbals and outer frame are free to rotate, the plant provides the ability to fix any desired axis (outer frame, red and blue gimbals). These different configurations allow for a wide range of experiments to be performed with the 3 DOF Gyroscope – a distinguishing feature, making this plant a valuable addition to a lab.

Quanser-developed Courseware Included

The 3 DOF Gyroscope comes with Quanser-developed courseware. The comprehensive Laboratory Guide, together with quick start resources, a User Manual, pre-designed controllers and a system model allows you to get your lab running faster, saving months of time typically required to develop lab materials.

  • 4 DOF sensed and 4 DOF actuated (over-actuated) system
  • Multi-coloured yaw, roll and pitch axes for easy distinction
  • Mechanically balanced through the entire workspace
  • High-resolution optical encoders for accurate measurement
  • Slip rings provide infinite continuous motion in each DOF
  • Direct drive actuation to achieve negligible friction on all axes
  • Precise, stiff and heavy-duty machined components
  • Fully compatible with MATLAB®/Simulink® and LabVIEW™
  • Fully documented system models and parameters provided for MATLAB®, Simulink® and LabVIEWTM
  • Open architecture design allows users to design their own controller
Dimensions (W x L x H) 70 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm
Total mass  27.3 kg
Disc encoder resolution (in quadrature)  4096 count/rev
Gimbal / frame resolution (in quadrature)  4000 count/rev
Disk motor output power  44.5 W
Gimbal / frame motors output power  266 W
Rotor mass 1.91 kg
Rotor diameter    0.152 m
Rotor thickness 0.0127 m

Topics included in the Quanser-developed courseware:

  • State space representation
  • Full-state feedback LQR control design
  • Control parameter tuning
The 3 DOF Gyroscope can be also used to teach other topics that are not included in the Quanser-developed courseware.

To set up your 3 DOF Gyroscope workstation, you need additional components. Quanser engineers recommend:

for MATLAB®/Simulink® users for LabVIEW™ users
1x Q8-USB data acquisition device¹ 1x AMPAQ-L4 linear current amplifier²
1x AMPAQ-L4 linear current amplifier² Quanser Rapid Control Prototyping toolkit software
QUARC real-time control software and one of the following options:
  - 1x NI CompactRIO³ controller with 4x Quanser Q1-CRIO module
  - 1x Q8-USB data acquisition device4

¹ alternatively, you can use QPIDe or any equivalent NI DAQ device supported by QUARC
² alternatively, you can use two AMPAQ-L2 amplifiers
³ NI cRIO-9074, or NI cRIO-9024 with cRIO-9113 or cRIO-9114 chassis
4 alternatively, you can use Quanser QPIDe


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