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UT’s Aerospace Club Launches Measurement Tool

UT’s Aerospace Club Launches Measurement Tool

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to measure a spacecraft’s velocity, but it sure does help understanding what tools are needed.

With some networking and generous donations, the Women in Aerospace Leadership and Development (WIALD) student organization at The University of Texas at Austin figured exactly what was needed to measure a space craft’s velocity, gravitational pull and orientation– an inertial measurement unit (IMU).

IMU’s are helpful for collecting data but they’re very expensive to design and build. WIALD created three IMU’s using cheaper versions of the same professional-grade products and launched them aboard Space Loft 6, a mission funded by the Department of Defense Operationally Responsive Space Office.

“This project is a big advance for us,” WIALD founder and Aerospace Engineering senior Rebekah Sosland said. “This IMU payload is going much higher in altitude than the camera we built last year. It will reach the edge of space and remain in zero-gravity for approximately four minutes.”

WIALD members received real-world, hands-on experience with this project, and it’s helped them develop essential leadership skills.

Read more about this story at UT Austin Know Blog.
Learn more about UT’s Aerospace Engineering Program.

Photo Courtesy: University of Texas at Austin/UT Aerospace Engineering Department