A gyroscope is a device used for maintaining and measuring angular velocity and orientation of aircrafts or submarines. Ring laser gyroscope consists of ring lasers that has two independent opposite-propagating resonant modes over the identical path. The difference in their frequencies is used to identify rotation and it operates on the principle of the effect known as Sagnac interference. The ring laser gyroscope is used as the stable component in an inertial guidance system and is mainly used in navigational applications.
Inertial guidance system is an electronic system that is used to continuously monitor the velocity, acceleration, and position of a vehicle, usually of an airplane, submarine, or a missile. It provides control and navigational data without the need for communicating with the base station. The basic components of an inertial guidance system are computers, gyroscopes, and accelerometers.
Ring laser gyroscopes provide turning rate measurements or fixed reference directions, and accelerometers are used to measure variations in the velocity of the system. The primary advantage of using a ring laser gyroscope is that there are no moving parts as compared to the conventional spinning gyroscopes. So there is no friction, which means there would be no inherent drift. Furthermore, the entire unit of the ring laser gyroscope is lightweight, compact, and virtually indestructible, due to which it can be used in aircrafts.
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A ring laser gyroscope can be used to measure any rotation around its sensitive axis that implies orientation in inertial space will be known almost at all times. In 1963, Macek and Davis had first demonstrated the experimental ring laser gyroscope. Further, various organizations around the world later developed ring-laser technology. There are about tens of thousands of ring laser gyroscopes operating in inertial navigation systems, providing higher accuracy. The basic set up of a ring laser gyroscope includes mirror, beam sampling, and laser excitation. The materials used for making ring laser gyroscopes includes quartz optical materials, microcrystalline, BK7, and others.
The primary driver of the ring laser gyroscope market is the rising demand for navigation systems. The use of navigation systems has increased primarily in the automotive segment due to demand for semi-autonomous and autonomous cars. Furthermore, demand for ring laser gyroscopes could rise due to enhanced performance and compact size. Besides, it is also a necessary component in aircrafts and submarines. However, increasing cost of strategic raw materials used for manufacturing ring laser gyroscopes and lower demand in aircraft and submarine markets can hinder the growth of the ring laser gyroscope market.
The global ring laser gyroscope market is segmented on the basis of application, number of axis, and geography. On the basis of application, the market can be segmented as military aircraft navigation, marine navigation, space navigation, and others. On the basis on number of axis, the market can be segmented as single axis and three axis.
By geography, the ring laser gyroscope market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America. As North America is the dominant player in the aerospace and defense segment, it is expected to dominate the ring laser gyroscope market due to the vital usage of ring laser gyroscopes in autonomous submarine navigation, cruise missile (land/air/sea) navigation surveying, and other critical navigation applications
Prominent players in the global ring laser gyroscope market includes Honeywell International Inc., Ericco International Limited, Litton, Sagem, Kearfott Corporation, Xsens, Heppell Photonics GmbH, Optics Balzer, Teledyne CDL, Mitsubishi Precision, ETLG Inertial Aerosystems, Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine B.V, and many others. Honeywell International Inc. is one of the leading players in the ring laser gyroscope market.
These major players are continuously investing in research and development in order to improve precision, performance, stability, sensitivity, and accuracy of ring laser gyroscopes. Also, efforts are being made by these companies to make ring laser gyroscopes more lightweight and compact.