The Super Compass

 

Researcher

 

Over the years, CSL has maintained a clear sense of direction. So it is only fitting that one of its earliest inventions was the electric vacuum gyroscope - a "super compass" as some called it. The electric vacuum gyroscope became the central component of the inertial navigation system, which made it possible for nuclear submarines to navigate the seas of the world while submerged for months.

Within the gyroscope, electrical forces held a 2-inch beryllium ball a few thousandths of an inch away from encircling metal plates and within a vacuum. Free of mechanical and air friction, the ball could spin for years without appreciable slowdown.