A Spatial Mechanism for the Measurement of the Inertia Tensor: Theory and Experimental Results

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Da Lio, A. Doria, R. Lot

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 121(1), 111-116 (Mar 01, 1999) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2802427 History: Received April 29, 1998; Online December 03, 2007


This paper deals with the problem of measuring the inertia tensor of rigid bodies. An original approach is adopted, different from classical modal analysis techniques. The rigid body is forced by a spatial mechanism to rotate around different axes. Once the mechanism is calibrated, i.e., its inertia and stiffness matrices are known, the inertia tensor of the rigid body may be determined by measuring the frequencies of the small oscillations around the selected axes and then solving a least-squares identification problem. Two prototypes of the spatial mechanism were built. The first was used to perform tests and to measure the inertia tensor of some compressors for domestic refrigeration. The second was constructed to measure the inertia tensor of large mechanical systems.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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