An active damping system for damping the rotation of an object to an extent dependent upon the angular velocity of the object utilizes a feedback mechanism and provides a robust method for rotational damping. The active damping system comprises a torque controller, a speed measuring device connected to said torque controller for measuring a speed correlated with the rotation to be damped, and a torque generating device for producing the damping torque, which is controlled by the torque controller. Where the torque controller is a microprocessor, various defined relationships between the rotation to be damped and the damping torque can be programmed into the torque controller, which can also perform diagnostics on the active damping system. Both the programmability and the ability to perform diagnostics allow the active damping system to respond reproducibly over a range of environmental conditions.


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