The ability to drop objects above the height of a normal building is difficult to achieve. These tests are made more complex if you want to keep the object upright as it falls. To do this you need a tall tower, a support structure and the ability to test indoors especially if you want to use instrumentation which is sensitive to the UK weather. A recent project between Cranfield Impact Centre and the National Lift Tower overcame those issues by using the 127m tower facility in Northampton, UK.
The object was allowed to drop under gravity and remained upright up to impact. The design of the object allowed it to collapse in a controlled manner, absorb the energy of the impact and reduce the g level. The force on impact was measured and an additional on-board accelerometer captured data. High-speed cameras were also used to capture the finer details of the impact which would not have been possible with the naked eye.
Click here to visit the National Lift Tower’s website.