Local Stability of Gyroscopic Systems Near Vanishing Eigenvalues

[+] Author and Article Information
A. A. Renshaw

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 W. 120th Street, 220 Mudd Building, New York, NY 10027

C. D. Mote

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

J. Appl. Mech 63(1), 116-120 (Mar 01, 1996) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2787185 History: Received August 06, 1993; Revised May 19, 1994; Online October 26, 2007


Vanishing eigenvalues of a gyroscopic system are always repeated and, as a result of this degeneracy, their eigenfunctions represent a combination of constant displacements with zero velocity and the displacements derived from constant, nonzero velocity. In a second-order formulation of the equations of motion, the assumption of harmonic vibration is not sufficiently general to represent this motion as the displacements derived from constant, nonzero velocity are not included. In a first order formulation, however, the assumption of harmonic vibration is sufficient. Solvability criteria are required to determine the complete form of such eigenfunctions and in particular whether or not their velocities are identically zero. A conjecture for gyroscopic systems is proposed that predicts whether the eigenvalue locus is imaginary or complex in the neighborhood of a vanishing eigenvalue. If the velocities of all eigenfunctions with vanishing eigenvalues are identically zero, the eigenvalues are imaginary; if any eigenfunction exists whose eigenvalue is zero but whose velocity is nonzero, the corresponding eigenvalue locus is complex. The conjecture is shown to be true for many commonly studied gyroscopic systems; no counter examples have yet been found. The conjecture can be used to predict divergence instability in many cases without extensive computation.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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