Research Papers

Reconstruction Synthesis of the Lost Subsystem for the Planetary Motions of Antikythera Mechanism

[+] Author and Article Information
Hong-Sen Yan1

Jian-Liang Lin

Department of Mechanical Engineering and the University Museum,  National Cheng Kung University, 1, University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwann1896132@mail.ncku.edu.tw


Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 134(1), 011003 (Jan 04, 2012) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004791 History: Received February 23, 2010; Revised July 23, 2011; Published January 04, 2012; Online January 04, 2012

The mechanism for the planetary motions contained in the lost subsystem of Antikythera mechanism is a strict challenge of the reconstruction design. This work presents a systematic procedure of the reconstruction design to synthesize all feasible designs which agree with the science and technology standards of the subject’s time period. Based on the kinematic analysis of ancient planetary theories, the anomaly planetary motions could be formulated. By the mechanism analysis, two types of feasible topological structures with the minimum numbers of members are obtained, and the relationships of teeth for the inferior and superior planets are derived. Through the study of the historical literature, the astronomical theories and the existing designs, the required design constraints are concluded. For the two reconstruction designs, one, the design by Edmunds and Morgan, and three feasible design concepts are, respectively, synthesized in accordance with the concepts of generalization and specialization. Focusing on each feasible design concepts, this work derives the relationships of teeth. Furthermore, one feasible combination of these feasible designs for different planets is adopted for detail design. And, it could be the original structure for the planetary motions of the lost subsystem of Antikythera mechanism.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Reconstruction design by Freeth et al

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Figure 2

Apollonius’ epicycles model

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Figure 3

Reconstruction design by Edmunds and Morgan

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Figure 4

Reconstruction design by Wright

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Figure 5

Reconstruction design of front dial by Evans, Carman and Thorndike [21]

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Figure 6

Suggested input condition of lost subsystem

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Figure 7

Procedure of reconstruction synthesis

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Figure 8

The generalized kinematic chain with four links and five joints

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Figure 9

Atlas of generalized kinematic chains with five links and seven joints

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Figure 10

Process of specialization (type 1)

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Figure 11

Process of specialization (type 2)

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Figure 12

Feasible design concepts for planetary motions (type 1)

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Figure 13

Feasible design concepts for planetary motions in 3D models (type 1)

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Figure 14

Three feasible reconstruction designs (type 2)

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Figure 15

Feasible design concepts for planetary motions in 3D models (type 2)




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