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Superconducting thin-film gyroscope readout for Gravity Probe-B

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3 Author(s)
Lockhart, James M. ; Hansen Laboratories, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; Physics and Astronomy Department, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94305 ; Cheung, W.Stephen ; Gill, Dale K.

We describe the high-resolution gyroscope (gyro) readout system for the Stanford Gravity Probe-B experiment, whose purpose is to measure two general relativistic precessions of gyroscopes in Earth orbit. In order to achieve the required resolution in angle (0.001 arc · s), the readout system combines high-precision mechanical fabrication and measurement techniques with superconducting thin-film technology, ultra-low magnetic fields, and Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) detectors. We discuss system design, performance limits achievable with current technology, and the results of fabrication and laboratory testing to date.

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:IM-36 ,  Issue: 2 )