What is a stroboscope and how does it work

What is a stroboscope

A stroboscope is an instrument that can be used to measure revolutions, velocity, and frequency of rotating components or moving parts. It is also known as a strobe this device can measure periodic or rotary motions. This instrument can make a cyclically moving object appear to be slow-moving or stationary and it is done by the stroboscopic effect. This principle is used for the study of rotating, reciprocating, oscillating or vibrating objects.

What is meant by stroboscopic effect

An example of this effect would be a discharge light placed near to rotating machinery, so the rotating parts would appear stationary and this is the stroboscopic effect. It would only occur in places where discharge lamps are used these lamps will illuminate and extinguish twice every cycle. Stroboscopic effects can be experienced by the flashing lights in discos.

What is the use of strobe light

A strobe light can be used in any plant, it allows the user to find and replace worn belts, springs, valves, and dampers.by the help of this light adjustment to machinery can be done too. Strobe lights are helpful to observe and adjust the nonrotating machinery and it can be adjusted to maximize product handling. The strobe light with the added functionality for phase analysis will be helpful for the user for machinery diagnosis and problem-solving. These tasks include balancing, alignment verification, looseness checks. The phase analysis will be useful for the user to find out how a machine is vibrating or moving and by this accurate diagnosis of the problem can be done.

Who invented stroboscope and what is the principle of stroboscope

Stroboscope was invented by “Simon von Stampfer”, stroboscope can be used to study the periodic motion or it can be used to determine the rotation speed by shining a bright light at intervals so that the moving or rotating object will appear stationary.

How does a stroboscope work

Stroboscope is a simple portable manually operating device which can be used for the measurement of periodic or rotary motions. This instrument is a source of variable frequency flashing brilliant light and the flashing frequency can be adjusted by the operator. The circuit is based on a variable frequency oscillator which controls the flashing frequency. Speed can be measured by adjusting the frequency and because of that, the moving objects are visible only at specific intervals of time. The method of use of the stroboscope depends upon the imperfect dynamic response of the human eye. When strong light is flashed on a moving object which will occupy a given position during the occurrence of each flash then the object will appear to be stationary. Stroboscope consists of a source of flashing light whose frequency can be varied and controlled and this source is called a strobotron.

What are the types of stroboscope

Mechanical stroboscope

This type of stroboscope consists of a whirling disc and a stationary mask, both having the opening of the same shape and size. When the two openings on the disc and stationary mask coincide then the observer can catch glimpses of the object behind the mask. If the object is rotating and the speed of the disc is synchronized with the motion of the object then the object will appear to be motionless. When the disc is rotating at a lesser speed than the object then the object would appear to creep forward and if the disc is rotating at a slightly faster speed then the rotating object will appear to creep backward.

Electronic stroboscope

In the electronic version of the stroboscope, it operates in a slightly different setup, instead of whirling disc a controllable intense flashing light source is used. The light source will be a gas discharge or a solid-state lamp. Because they are capable of emitting light nearly instantly when power is applied, and it will extinguish fast when the power is removed. Repeated short duration light flash of adjustable frequency is supplied by the light source. The required flashing rate frequency for synchronization with the motion of the object is the angular speed of the object and these devices are called strobe lights. The frequency of the flash is adjusted so that it is an equal or a unit fraction of the objects cyclic speed, at which point the object can be seen either stationary or moving slowly backward or forward, depending upon the flash frequency. For low emitting strobe applications, neon lamps or low emitting diodes are commonly used. Xenon flash is used for medium and high-intensity strobe applications.

What are the applications of stroboscope

  • Stroboscope can be used as a tachometer to measure the frequency of rotation of a mechanical system
  • It is used as timing light to set the ignition timing of internal combustion engines.
  • Stroboscope can be used to check the speed ranging from 60 – 1000000 rpm
  • Rotational speed can be measured by using this
  • In medicine stroboscope is used to view the vocal cords