Exploring the feasibility of ion beam gyroscope based on corona discharge

Date created: 
Corona Discharge
Ion Beam Gyroscope
Ion Deflection

An ion beam gyroscope has been proposed to measure the speed of rotating, which is potentially inexpensive and free of the mechanical stress. The characteristics of the low-pressure corona gas discharge in a compact discharge tube are studied to obtain a sufficient and stable ion beam source for ion beam gyroscopes. Ions moving to the cathode by the effect of an electric field can produce a current signal. If a dual-cathode discharge device is used, currents going to the two cathodes are denoted by I1and I2 respectively. If the device is placed on a rotating platform, ions will be deflected by the Coriolis effect. Thus, I1 and I2 change accordingly with rotating speeds. Consequently, the differential current between the variation of each cathode is a function of the Coriolis acceleration rate. Since a magnetic field can deflect ions in the same way as the Coriolis effect, a magnetic field is used to simulate the Coriolis effect to avoid the rotating platform in the early exploring stage. This replacement allows us to have a simpler experimental setup, and the magnetic field is also easier to control. A theoretical model has been derived to describe the motion of ions in the discharge tube. Emulation experiments were conducted to explore the correlation between speed of rotating and differential current, relevant variables and their impacts on the sensitivity of ion beam gyroscopes. These experiments demonstrate the ion beam gyroscope is feasible, although the device's sensitivity is limited by 1.6 pA/rpm.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Albert Leung
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.