Todd Treichel is senior engineer for Orbital Technologies Corporation. ORBITEC makes a number of systems and components for real space projects, including propulsion and life-support equipment for space shuttle missions and the international space station.
Todd also works with local high school students to teach them engineering and science, and he used the AltimeterOne on a recent teaching project. The goal of the project was to teach the students about scientific measurements and statistical analysis. For the project, Todd and his students loaded the AltimeterOne into a high altitude pressure chamber and exposed it to varying degrees of vacuum, simulating altitudes all the way from see level to 29,500 feet (the published range of the AltimeterOne).
Into the Vacuum Chamber
The little AltimeterOne looks a little lonely in ORBITEC’s big vacuum chamber. The photos capture one data point taken at 29,420 feet, near the top of AltimeterOne’s service ceiling.
Todd and his students plotted the readout of the AltimeterOne versus the pressure in the chamber. Using the Standard Atmospheric Model to convert the vacuum chamber pressure to altitude, here’s how the readout of the AltimeterOne compares to the calculated altitude using their measurements.
That shows that the AltimeterOne is really doing a phenomenal job at measuring pressure and calculating altitude!