How is the Gyro compass system made north seeking?​

How is the Gyro compass system made north seeking?

The gyro compass is a critical navigation instrument used to determine the vessel’s direction of heading.

Unlike the traditional magnetic compass, which uses the earth’s magnetic field to provide directional information, the gyro compass utilizes the gyroscopic effect of a spinning rotor to determine the vessel’s true north. 

In this article, we will discuss how the gyro compass system is made north-seeking.

The gyroscopic effect is the phenomenon that describes the behavior of a spinning object. The gyro compass takes advantage of this effect by using a high-speed spinning rotor that maintains its orientation relative to the earth’s rotation. The gyro compass system has two main components: the gyro compass itself and the repeater.

The gyro compass is made up of three essential parts: 

the spinning rotor, 

the motor that drives the rotor, 

and the gimbal ring assembly that houses the rotor. 

The rotor spins at high speed, typically around 10,000 to 15,000 revolutions per minute, and is supported by two sets of gimbals. 

The first set of gimbals allows the rotor to spin freely in a vertical plane, while the second set of gimbals allows the rotor to precess, or tilt, in a horizontal plane.

When the gyro compass is initially started, it must be aligned with the earth’s rotational axis. This is done by turning the compass until the rotor is precessed to an east-west orientation. 

Once the rotor is aligned, the gyro compass system can accurately determine the vessel’s heading. 

The compass heading is then displayed on the repeater, which is typically located in the ship’s wheelhouse.

The repeater is a display device that shows the heading information transmitted from the gyro compass. 

It may be an analogue or digital device, and it is usually located in a prominent location in the wheelhouse. 

The repeater also contains various alarms, such as heading and drift alarms, to alert the crew of any deviations from the vessel’s desired course.

To make the gyro compass system north-seeking, a device called a Flinders bar is used. 

The Flinders bar is a permanent magnet that is placed near the gyro compass rotor. 

The magnet exerts a torque on the rotor that causes it to precess towards the magnetic meridian. 

As the rotor precesses, the gyro compass aligns itself with the magnetic meridian, and the north-seeking property is achieved.

In addition to the Flinders bar, other systems may be used to ensure the gyro compass maintains its north-seeking property. 

One such system is the master compass, which is a magnetic compass that is used to periodically check the accuracy of the gyro compass. 

If the master compass indicates a deviation, adjustments can be made to the gyro compass to correct any errors.

In conclusion, the gyro compass is a vital navigation instrument that relies on the gyroscopic effect to determine the vessel’s heading. 

To make the gyro compass system north-seeking, a Flinders bar is used, which aligns the compass with the magnetic meridian.

 Other systems, such as the master compass, may also be used to ensure the gyro compass maintains its north-seeking property. 

With its accuracy and reliability, the gyro compass remains an essential component of modern navigation systems.