So. This has come up a few times recently. Querying the CD community for their thoughts on this as a project.
Disclosure: I have no formal training in laser optics. Google is my only friend in this regard. My real experience is in control theory and software architecture. I am thoroughly out of my comfort zone here.
Fiber Optic Gyroscopes use coils of fiber optics, along with coherent laser light to detect rotational motion. Due to the Sagnac Effect rotation of the coils sets up a standaning wave pattern, which (in the right configuration) modulates the intensity of the light beam measured.
My main questions, related to making a functional, <$500 one at home:
- Am I completely off my rocker? If not:
- Is there anything special about the fiber optic cable required to make one of these? Will the stuff they use for computer networking work (It’s cheap!)
- Do you have to run the laser down both directions of the cable simultaneously? Or can you split the laser source into two coils (wound opposite directions), re-join the output of both cables, and measure the intensity?
A Stanford lecture presentation seems to carry a few more details (“polarization-maintaining fiber”??), but full comprehension of it is a bit above my current paygrade.
So, before investing a ton of time and money, tossing this one out to the wise folks of FRC.
As always, thanks for your time here!!