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Accurate Height(above sea level) Measurement Device

  1. Jun 26, 2009 #1
    Hi Guys

    I am new engineering and would appreciate any advice or ideas on this project. I need to measure the height above sea level of a small vehicle that I am building..
    My first idea was GPS, but the vehicle is going travel under a thick steel structure, so it will not work.
    I thought about a pitot tube but there are many random gusts of wind, so the readings may be compromised. I need an accuracy of about 10mm.

    Any input will be much appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2009 #2

    russ_watters

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    You're going to find this to be a pretty tall order - neither GPS nor an altimeter would give you that kind of accuracy anyway.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2009 #3
    Thanks for your reply Russ.
    A relative altitude would also do fine.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2009 #4

    FredGarvin

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    A static pressure port connected to a large plenum should do the trick.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2009 #5

    berkeman

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    Does this vehicle fly or roll? If it rolls, can you use an inclinometer and distance travelled to give you elevation change information?
     
  7. Jun 27, 2009 #6
    Thanks for your responses guys, I will be looking into them!

    Berkeman: the vehicle rolls, so it is a good idea. However, the vehicle travels a complicated path through holes and over rocks etc, so the continuous computation might be tricky?
     
  8. Jun 27, 2009 #7

    Danger

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    If this thing doesn't have to travel for really long distances, could you lay an RF transmitting cable along the path above ground at a known altitude and take readings from it?
     
  9. Jun 27, 2009 #8

    berkeman

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    Not if you have a good inclinometer and don't lose traction at the wheels.
     
  10. Jun 28, 2009 #9

    Q_Goest

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  11. Jul 1, 2009 #10

    Mech_Engineer

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    If you're flying under a steel structure, that tells me you're not very far off the ground- could you use some sort of laser rangefinding to the ground or structure above?
     
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