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eLearning | Computer Based Training | Systems Simulation

Sphaera Training Systems Logo

eLearning | Computer Based Training | Systems Simulation

Interactive Gyroscope  > Transport Wander

Transport Wander of a Gyroscope

Transport wander can occur when a gyroscope is transported from one point on the Earth to another. Any wander observed will be in addition to that caused by the rotation of the Earth.


Gyroscope on prime meridian aligned to local North

The Interactive Gyroscope provides instructors with total control of the movement of the gyroscope around the Earth, making it easy to demonstrate and understand transport wander.

In the example shown, we see a spinning gyrospcope aligned with local North. It is currently positioned on the prime meridian (the line of 0° longitude).

Gyroscope on a meridian at 90° longitude

In the next image we see that the gyroscope has been transported to a new meridian at 90° longitude.

Looking at the image, it appears as though the spin axis has drifted (as the gyro is no longer aligned with the new local North).

In fact, the gyroscope has not drifted. It has continued to point to the same point in space and it is the direction of True North which has changed.

Gyroscope transport wander caused by convergance of the meridians

The drift has been caused by the convergance of the meridians.

As wander is only apparent when the gyroscope crosses a meridian that is converging with another, this means that at any latitude other than the Equator, any East-West (or West-East) movement will cause transport wander. Although movement along the Equator does involve crossing meridians, because all meridians are parallel at the Equator then no transport wander occurs.

As North-South (or South-North) movement involves tracking along a meridian (and not crossing) then no transport wander occurs.

The Interactive Gyroscope inlcudes a fully interactive gyroscope and model of the Earth, enabling the clear demonstration the following gyroscopic principles and properties: