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Zeiss to Build Ring Laser Gyroscope

Photonics Spectra
Jan 1999
The Federal Cartography and Geodesy Office in Frankfurt, Germany, has commissioned Carl Zeiss Inc. in Oberkochen to design and manufacture a laser gyroscope that will measure the Earth's rotation. Engineers will install the gyroscope in three years at the office's fundamental research station in Wettzell, Germany.

The gyroscope will be an enhanced version of the prototype installed by the company in New Zealand in 1997. The prototype features two laser beams that circumscribe a 1 × 1-m area, producing bright and dark fringes. These interference fringes shift, enabling researchers to determine the velocity of Earth's rotation.

The new gyroscope will enclose a 4 × 4-m area, making it 16 times as sensitive as the prototype.

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