Devices of this type were used in missile guidance systems for a variety of U.S. civil and military rockets. It uses a gyroscope, floated in a viscous fluid, and mounted off the center of mass, to measure the acceleration in one degree of freedom to a high accuracy. It also mathematically integrates that measurement, giving velocity.
This particular artifact was used in tests and was not flown.
The Charles Draper Laboratory donated this object to the Museum in 2004.
Gift of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory