3612. Measurement of the Inertia Tensor – A Review


SAWE Members get a $200 store credit each year.*

Become a SAWE Member

*Store credit coupon available at checkout, click the button in your shopping cart to apply the coupon.
Not applicable to SAWE textbooks and current conference technical papers.


Giorgio Previati, M. Gobbi, G. Mastinu: 3612. Measurement of the Inertia Tensor – A Review. 2014.



This paper is focused on the measurement of the full inertia tensor of a rigid body. In the literature, many papers can be found addressing this problem. Basically, two different measurement approaches are used.
In the first approach, different moments of inertia around different axes are measured and then the inertia tensor is reconstructed from these measurements. In this case, the measurement of the moment of inertia around a given axis can be performed with very high accuracy. In the reconstruction of the inertia tensor is, however, some uncertainty is introduced due to the positioning of the rotation axes with respect to the body.
The second measurement approach involves the realization of a test rig able to apply a complex motion to the body under investigation. By a proper measurement of the motion and a suitable mathematical procedure, is possible to derive all the components components of the inertia tensor from a single experiment. Sometimes, the motion is reduced to a vibration of small amplitude and the inertia tensor is derived from a modal analysis.
The experimental techniques referring to such two strategies are presented and the underlying theoretical and mathematical aspects involved are discussed.


SKU: Paper3612 Category: