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Special Issue "Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof.Dr. Zbigniew Zembaty
Website
Guest Editor
Opole University of Technology, Poland,
Interests: Structural Health Monitoring; Seismic Engineering; Civil Engineering; Seismology; Random Vibrations
Dr. Felix Bernauer
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig‐Maximilians‐University of Munich, Germany
Interests: geophysics; rotational seismology; sensors in seismology
Prof.Dr. Heiner Igel
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig‐Maximilians‐University of Munich, Germany
Interests: Geophysics; seismology; exploration geophysics; seismotectonics and anisotropy; seismic inverse problems
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schreiber
Website
Guest Editor
Research Unit Satellite Geodesy, Technical University of Munich, Germany,
Interests: Sagnac Interferometry; inertial rotation rate sensing for space geodesy; rotational seismology, satellite and lunar laser ranging; optical time transfer; time and frequency in space geodesy

Special Issue Information

Rotation rate sensors are finding more and more applications in science and engineering, most prominently by serving for the control of vehicle or airplane motion. Functions in consumer electronics, such as smartphones and smartwatches are controlled with respect to their tilt. In modern seismology, the measurement of rotations about the vertical and horizontal axes is combined with classic displacement records, which has demonstrated many powerful applications. Even a small rocking motion of the foundations of tall buildings translates into substantial tip displacements. Furthermore, we are now in the position to obtain torsional motion from tall structures reliably. All these applications require various types of rotation rate sensors. From small MEMS gyros, over fiber-optic gyros and electrochemical devices to high resolution, large ring lasers. This Special Issue will collect papers on (inertial) rotation rate sensors and their applications, with particular attention paid to the novel areas of application in modern geophysics, civil and seismic engineering, as well as mechanical engineering and modern geodesy, including structural health monitoring.

Substantial progress in the technology of (inertial) rotation sensing has opened novel applications. The emerging field of rotational seismology is a good example of this development, applications in space geodesy and navigation are another. They rely on highly sensitive and stable sensors, which are very expensive. On the other hand, there are small and cheap sensors, which are neither stable nor sensitive but available in large numbers. We envisage contributions on sensor concepts and applications that outline achievements on all sides of this large application spectrum. We believe that collecting together papers on the design of rotation rate sensors with descriptions of their applications is well situated in the scope of the journal Sensors.

Prof. Zbigniew Zembaty
Dr. Felix Bernauer
Prof. Heiner Igel
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schreiber
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • rotations
  • angular velocity
  • rotation rate sensors
  • inertial rotation sensing
  • measurements
  • vibrations of structures
  • structural health monitoring
  • seismology
  • waves
  • seismic ground motion
  • ground tilt
  • sagnac effect

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Kalman Filter-Based Fusion of Collocated Acceleration, GNSS and Rotation Data for 6C Motion Tracking
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1543; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041543 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 201
Abstract
The ground motion of an earthquake or the ambient motion of a large engineered structure not only has translational motion, but it also includes rotation around all three axes. No current sensor can record all six components, while the fusion of individual instruments [...] Read more.
The ground motion of an earthquake or the ambient motion of a large engineered structure not only has translational motion, but it also includes rotation around all three axes. No current sensor can record all six components, while the fusion of individual instruments that could provide such recordings, such as accelerometers or Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, and rotational sensors, is non-trivial. We propose achieving such a fusion via a six-component (6C) Kalman filter (KF) that is suitable for structural monitoring applications, as well as earthquake monitoring. In order to develop and validate this methodology, we have set up an experimental case study, relying on the use of an industrial six-axis robot arm, on which the instruments are mounted. The robot simulates the structural motion resulting atop a wind-excited wind turbine tower. The quality of the 6C KF reconstruction is assessed by comparing the estimated response to the feedback system of the robot, which performed the experiments. The fusion of rotational information yields significant improvement for both the acceleration recordings but also the GNSS positions, as evidenced via the substantial reduction of the RMSE, expressed as the difference between the KF predictions and robot feedback. This work puts forth, for the first time, a KF-based fusion for all six motion components, validated against a high-precision ground truth measurement. The proposed filter formulation is able to exploit the strengths of each instrument and recover more precise motion estimates that can be exploited for multiple purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Rotaphone-CY: The Newest Rotaphone Model Design and Preliminary Results from Performance Tests with Active Seismic Sources
Sensors 2021, 21(2), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21020562 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 329
Abstract
Rotaphone-CY is a six-component short-period seismograph that is capable of the co-located recording of three translational (ground velocity) components along three orthogonal axes and three rotational (rotation rate) components around the three axes in one device. It is a mechanical sensor system utilizing [...] Read more.
Rotaphone-CY is a six-component short-period seismograph that is capable of the co-located recording of three translational (ground velocity) components along three orthogonal axes and three rotational (rotation rate) components around the three axes in one device. It is a mechanical sensor system utilizing records from elemental sensors (geophones) arranged in parallel pairs to derive differential motions in the pairs. The pairs are attached to a rigid frame that is anchored to the ground. The model design, the latest one among various Rotaphone designs based on the same principle and presented elsewhere, is briefly introduced. The upgrades of the new model are a 32-bit A/D converter, a more precise placing of the geophones to parallel pairs and a better housing, which protects the instrument from external electromagnetic noise. The instrument is still in a developmental stage. It was tested in a field experiment that took place at the Geophysical Observatory in Fürstenfeldbruck (Germany) in November 2019. Four Rotaphones-CY underwent the huddle-testing phase of the experiment as well as the field-deployment phase, in which the instruments were installed in a small-aperture seismic array of a triangular shape. The preliminary results from this active-source experiment are shown. Rotaphone-CY data are verified, in part, by various approaches: mutual comparison of records from four independent Rotaphone-CY instruments, waveform matching according to rotation-to-translation relations, and comparison to array-derived rotations when applicable. The preliminary results are very promising and they suggest the good functionality of the Rotaphone-CY design. It has been proved that the present Rotaphone-CY model is a reliable instrument for measuring short-period seismic rotations of the amplitudes as small as 107 rad/s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Rotation, Strain, and Translation Sensors Performance Tests with Active Seismic Sources
Sensors 2021, 21(1), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21010264 - 03 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
Interest in measuring displacement gradients, such as rotation and strain, is growing in many areas of geophysical research. This results in an urgent demand for reliable and field-deployable instruments measuring these quantities. In order to further establish a high-quality standard for rotation and [...] Read more.
Interest in measuring displacement gradients, such as rotation and strain, is growing in many areas of geophysical research. This results in an urgent demand for reliable and field-deployable instruments measuring these quantities. In order to further establish a high-quality standard for rotation and strain measurements in seismology, we organized a comparative sensor test experiment that took place in November 2019 at the Geophysical Observatory of the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich in Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany. More than 24 different sensors, including three-component and single-component broadband rotational seismometers, six-component strong-motion sensors and Rotaphone systems, as well as the large ring laser gyroscopes ROMY and a Distributed Acoustic Sensing system, were involved in addition to 14 classical broadband seismometers and a 160 channel, 4.5 Hz geophone chain. The experiment consisted of two parts: during the first part, the sensors were co-located in a huddle test recording self-noise and signals from small, nearby explosions. In a second part, the sensors were distributed into the field in various array configurations recording seismic signals that were generated by small amounts of explosive and a Vibroseis truck. This paper presents details on the experimental setup and a first sensor performance comparison focusing on sensor self-noise, signal-to-noise ratios, and waveform similarities for the rotation rate sensors. Most of the sensors show a high level of coherency and waveform similarity within a narrow frequency range between 10 Hz and 20 Hz for recordings from a nearby explosion signal. Sensor as well as experiment design are critically accessed revealing the great need for reliable reference sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessCommunication
Comparing Direct Observation of Torsion with Array-Derived Rotation in Civil Engineering Structures
Sensors 2021, 21(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21010142 - 28 Dec 2020
Viewed by 496
Abstract
In this article, we analyze the rotation rates in a building derived from a network of translation sensors and recorded by a rotation sensor. The building is Grenoble city hall, a reinforced concrete structure with permanent accelerometric translation sensors at the top and [...] Read more.
In this article, we analyze the rotation rates in a building derived from a network of translation sensors and recorded by a rotation sensor. The building is Grenoble city hall, a reinforced concrete structure with permanent accelerometric translation sensors at the top and bottom of the building. A temporary experiment was conducted, consisting in installing a BlueSeis-3A rotation sensor for more than 24 h at the top of the structure. The ambient vibrations were analyzed. The amplitudes of translation accelerations and rotation rates at the top and bottom of the building, along with their variations over time, were analyzed. The acceleration/rotation ratios were then compared with the impulse wave velocities derived from seismic interferometry by deconvolution between the top and bottom. Perspectives with regard to building imaging, time monitoring of structural integrity and understanding the contribution of rotations to the structure’s response are discussed, offering new suggestions for research projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Precision Angle Measurement Systems on the Basis of Ring Laser Gyro
Sensors 2020, 20(23), 6930; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20236930 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 432
Abstract
The main application of a ring laser gyroscope is navigation. It is currently the most widely used device for strapdown inertial navigation systems. However, it is also applicable for high-precision angle metrology systems. This paper discusses the properties of a laser dynamic goniometer [...] Read more.
The main application of a ring laser gyroscope is navigation. It is currently the most widely used device for strapdown inertial navigation systems. However, it is also applicable for high-precision angle metrology systems. This paper discusses the properties of a laser dynamic goniometer (LDG) based on the ring laser gyroscope and designed for the calibration of optical polygons and digital angle converters, and for the measurement of angles between external mirrors (theodolite operating mode). We consider the main sources of uncertainty, such as the ring laser gyro bias due to an external magnetic field and the instability caused by the velocity of rotation along with applicable methods of their compensation. The reversal method providing separation of uncertainties of the LDG and the calibrated angle converter is analyzed in detail. The simplified cross-calibration method is also considered. The results of calibration of optical encoders of various designs—with and without their own rotors (on-axis and off-axis in Euramet terminology)—are presented. Some results of the dynamic goniometer for the measurement of angles between external mirrors are presented. It is shown that the LDG in this mode of operation demonstrates better accuracy than modern theodolites and total stations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Near-Field Measurement of Six Degrees of Freedom Mining-Induced Tremors in Lower Silesian Copper Basin
Sensors 2020, 20(23), 6801; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20236801 - 28 Nov 2020
Viewed by 390
Abstract
The impact of seismicity on structures is one of the key problems of civil engineering. According to recent knowledge, the reliable analysis should be based on both rotational and translational components of the seismic wave. To determine the six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) [...] Read more.
The impact of seismicity on structures is one of the key problems of civil engineering. According to recent knowledge, the reliable analysis should be based on both rotational and translational components of the seismic wave. To determine the six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) characteristic of mining-induced seismicity, two sets of seismic posts were installed in the Lower Silesian Copper Basin, Poland. Long-term continuous 6-DoF measurements were conducted with the use of the R-1 rotational seismometer and EP-300 translational seismometer. In result data collection, the waveforms generated by 39 high-energy seismic events were recorded. The characteristic of the rotational component of the seismic waves were described in terms of their amplitude and frequency characteristics and were compared with translational measurements. The analysis indicated that the characteristic of the rotational component of the seismic wave differs significantly in comparison to translational ones, both in terms of their amplitude and frequency distribution. Also, attenuation of rotational and translational components was qualitatively compared. Finally, the empirical formulas for seismic rotation prediction in the Lower Silesian Copper Basin were developed and validated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Measurements of Local Seismic Rotations by Three Independent Methods
Sensors 2020, 20(19), 5679; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20195679 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 487
Abstract
A comparative active experiment that is aimed at collocated measurement of seismic rotation rates along three orthogonal axes by means of three different methods is described. The rotation rates in a short-period range of 6–20 Hz were obtained using three different methods: the [...] Read more.
A comparative active experiment that is aimed at collocated measurement of seismic rotation rates along three orthogonal axes by means of three different methods is described. The rotation rates in a short-period range of 6–20 Hz were obtained using three different methods: the 6C Rotaphone sensor system developed by the authors, the commercial R-1 rotational sensor by Eentec, and a small-aperture array of twelve standard velocigraphs in a rectangular arrangement. Those three methods are compared and discussed in detail. A medium-size quarry blast was used as a seismic source. At a distance of approximately 240 m, the rotation rates reached an amplitude of the order of magnitude of 104–105 rad/s. The array derived rotation rates displayed serious limitations, as clearly documented. The R-1 instruments have shown certain technical problems that partly limit their applicability. The measured rotation rates were compared to the relevant acceleration components according to rotation-to-translation relations. Out of all the three methods, the records best matching the acceleration components were made by Rotaphone. The experiment also revealed that rotation rates in the given short-period range noticeably changed over a distance as short as 2 m. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Noise Analysis of a Passive Resonant Laser Gyroscope
Sensors 2020, 20(18), 5369; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20185369 - 19 Sep 2020
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Large-scale laser gyroscopes have found important applications in Earth sciences due to their self-sufficient property of measurement of the Earth’s rotation without any external references. In order to extend the relative rotation measurement accuracy to a better level so that it can be [...] Read more.
Large-scale laser gyroscopes have found important applications in Earth sciences due to their self-sufficient property of measurement of the Earth’s rotation without any external references. In order to extend the relative rotation measurement accuracy to a better level so that it can be used for the determination of the Earth orientation parameters (EOP), we investigate the limitations in a passive resonant laser gyroscope (PRG) developed at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) to pave the way for future development. We identify the noise sources from the derived noise transfer function of the PRG. In the frequency range below 102Hz, the contribution of free-spectral-range (FSR) variation is the dominant limitation, which comes from the drift of the ring cavity length. In the 102 to 103Hz frequency range, the limitation is due to the noises of the frequency discrimination system, which mainly comes from the residual amplitude modulation (RAM) in the frequency range below 2 Hz. In addition, the noise contributed by the Mach–Zehnder-type beam combiner is also noticeable in the 0.01 to 2 Hz frequency range. Finally, possible schemes for future improvement are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Rotation Rate Sensors in Modal and Vibration Analyses of Reinforced Concrete Beams
Sensors 2020, 20(17), 4711; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20174711 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
The recent rapid development of rotation rate sensor technology opens new opportunities for their application in more and more fields. In this paper, the potential of rotational sensors for the modal analysis of full-scale civil engineering structural elements is experimentally examined. For this [...] Read more.
The recent rapid development of rotation rate sensor technology opens new opportunities for their application in more and more fields. In this paper, the potential of rotational sensors for the modal analysis of full-scale civil engineering structural elements is experimentally examined. For this purpose, vibrations of two 6-m long beams made of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) were measured using microelectromechanical system (MEMS) rotation rate sensors. The beams were excited to vibrations using an impact hammer and a dynamic vibration exciter. The results of the experiment show that by using rotation rate sensors, one can directly obtain derivatives of mode shapes and deflection shapes. These derivatives of mode shapes, often called “rotational modes”, bring more information regarding possible local stiffness variations than the traditional transversal and deflection mode shapes, so their extraction during structural health monitoring is particularly useful. Previously, the rotational modes could only be obtained indirectly (e.g., by central difference approximation). Here, with the application of rotation rate sensors, one can obtain rotational modes and deflection shapes with a higher precision. Furthermore, the average strain rate and dynamic strain were acquired using the rotation rate sensors. The laboratory experiments demonstrated that rotation rate sensors were matured enough to be used in the monitoring and modal analyses of full-scale civil engineering elements (e.g., reinforced concrete beams). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Torsional Response of Civil Engineering Structures during Earthquake from an Observational Point of View
Sensors 2021, 21(2), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21020342 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 397
Abstract
This paper discusses the origins of torsion and its effect on the response of structures with a focus on the contribution of experimental data. The fact that torsion increases the stresses in structures, augmenting strain and damage during earthquakes, was confirmed in the [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the origins of torsion and its effect on the response of structures with a focus on the contribution of experimental data. The fact that torsion increases the stresses in structures, augmenting strain and damage during earthquakes, was confirmed in the 1960s. Over the years, the torsional response of structures has mainly been analysed through numerical studies, because few buildings are equipped with translational sensors, and even fewer are equipped with rotational sensors. This is likely to change as building instrumentation becomes more widespread and new generations of rotational sensors are developed. Therefore, this paper focusses on a number of scientific questions concerning the rotational response of structures during earthquakes and the contribution of experimental data to the understanding of this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Seismological Processing of Six Degree-of-Freedom Ground-Motion Data
Sensors 2020, 20(23), 6904; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20236904 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 614
Abstract
Recent progress in rotational sensor technology has made it possible to directly measure rotational ground-motion induced by seismic waves. When combined with conventional inertial seismometer recordings, the new sensors allow one to locally observe six degrees of freedom (6DOF) of ground-motion, composed of [...] Read more.
Recent progress in rotational sensor technology has made it possible to directly measure rotational ground-motion induced by seismic waves. When combined with conventional inertial seismometer recordings, the new sensors allow one to locally observe six degrees of freedom (6DOF) of ground-motion, composed of three orthogonal components of translational motion and three orthogonal components of rotational motion. The applications of such 6DOF measurements are manifold—ranging from wavefield characterization, separation, and reconstruction to the reduction of non-uniqueness in seismic inverse problems—and have the potential to revolutionize the way seismic data are acquired and processed. However, the seismological community has yet to embrace rotational ground-motion as a new observable. The aim of this paper is to give a high-level introduction into the field of 6DOF seismology using illustrative examples and to summarize recent progress made in this relatively young field. It is intended for readers with a general background in seismology. In order to illustrate the seismological value of rotational ground-motion data, we provide the first-ever 6DOF processing example of a teleseismic earthquake recorded on a multicomponent ring laser observatory and demonstrate how wave parameters (phase velocity, propagation direction, and ellipticity angle) and wave types of multiple phases can be automatically estimated using single-station 6DOF processing tools. Python codes to reproduce this processing example are provided in an accompanying Jupyter notebook. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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Other

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Open AccessLetter
Measurements of Rotational Events Generated by Artificial Explosions and External Excitations Using the Optical Fiber Sensors Network
Sensors 2020, 20(21), 6107; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216107 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 455
Abstract
Measurements of artificial events can substantially confirm the data validity of constructed rotational sensors, as well as provide methods for simplifying the measurement process. The above task, especially with international cooperation, can provide full-field measurement results of the target object, which can deliver [...] Read more.
Measurements of artificial events can substantially confirm the data validity of constructed rotational sensors, as well as provide methods for simplifying the measurement process. The above task, especially with international cooperation, can provide full-field measurement results of the target object, which can deliver more significant data and sensor properties. The paper presents vertical rotational velocity recordings gathered during an international experiment that took place at the Geophysical Observatory of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany. Data were obtained during artificial explosions, as well as external excitations induced by a VibroSeis truck. The authors present data recorded by two prototypes of optical fiber rotational sensors. They have been specially designed for rotational seismology needs and are characterized by a theoretical sensitivity equal to 2 × 10−8 rad/s/√Hz and a wide measuring range both in amplitude even up to 10 rad/s, and a frequency from DC to 1000 Hz. Their self-noise investigation during the aforementioned experiment showed that both sensors have precision no worse than 2 × 10−6 rad/s/sqrt (Hz) in all desired frequency range from 0.01 to 100 Hz. A down-sampling and a spectral analysis of the recorded signals are also presented. The recorded data and their analysis confirmed the performance and reliability of the applied optical fiber rotational sensors. Moreover, the presented international experiment underlines a special necessity for specifying the sensors’ performance test methodologies in the rotational seismology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotation Rate Sensors and Their Applications)
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