Sansano builds the first completely Chilean Foucault pendulum

The Civil Engineer in electronics of the University Tunica Federico Santa Maria, Gonzalo Arroyo, was responsible for the design and manufacture of a propulsion system that could keep it oscillates indefinitely. A chrome steel sphere of 115 kilograms, a length of 19.5 meters and a period of oscillation of 8.7 seconds are some of the features of the first pendulum of Foucault built entirely in Chile, specifically in Puerto Monett, and one of the few existing in South America; being responsible for its design and manufacturing of the propulsion system that keep it swinging indefinitely to the Civil Engineer in electronics of the University Tunica Federico Santa Maria, Gonzalo Arroyo. The first part to develop electronic propulsion system, explained.

Sansanos create

“The idea is to give a small boost to the pendulum to keep the swing to a constant amplitude, despite friction with the air and mechanical parts that sustain.” This part is developed methodically, achieving a basic prototype in less than a week. “To achieve optimal functioning was tested a series of sensors and were designed different versions of the coil (electromagnet) performance, before you get the final product,” he explained.

Without however, prove the propulsion system and although several adjustments were made, the pendulum that is now on the new premises of Colegio San Francisco Javier, in Puerto Monett, not worked very well because the suspension system was not good enough and disturbed the direction of oscillation. “Following that, it was necessary to completely redesign all the mechanical parts, with the exception of the field of steel, and include new elements so it wasn’t influenced by the rotation of the Earth.” “This new part again required a process of research, design and manufacture of pieces,” explained. Research and testing complex of this process was the great work which meant the careful manufacture of each of the mechanical propulsion system parts.

“The process of designing them began with a sketch in a notebook, remained in the AutoCAD, sometimes conversed it with people from the University and then sought some maestranza willing to manufacture it.” “The pieces were not always well, what had to do them again and the ones currently used in the suspension system combined a precise manufacturing with a robust design to small imperfections. Another crucial issue in the operation was the correct location of the pieces. “Given the slow dynamics of the pendulum, for each new piece is proving they required several days between settings and tests to evaluate the functioning.

“The suspension system is 20 meters above the ground, so it had to climb scaffolding or hanging from a tickle. “This increased the difficulty of the adjustment process, which is of itself complex”, he added. It should be noted that the Foucault pendulum, built by Gonzalo Arroyo is in new dependencies of the Saint Francis Xavier College in Puerto Monett and is one of the most important objects, the establishment has. “Is an excellent resource for understanding that the Earth is a dynamic element in the universe, which is incredible, because under our senses the Earth seems static,” he said.