A nonmagnetic compass in which the direction of true north is maintained by a continuously driven gyroscope whose axis is parallel to the earth’s axis of rotation.
- Unlike a conventional gyrocompass that typically must operate for an hour or more before it can provide useful information, the GPS compass is usually ready for use in less than five minutes.
- When it reached its target, a gyrocompass and timing device in the rear sent it into a steep, spinning, near-vertical dive which stalled the engine.
- A commercial GPS attitude-determination system and a gyrocompass served as reference systems during some tests; surprisingly, the gyrocompass performed quite well at such high latitudes, although settling took many hours.
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