A penetrometer is a device to test the strength of a material.


There are many types of penetrometer designed to be used on soil. They are usually round or cone shaped. The penetrometer is dropped on the test subject or pressed against it and the depth of the resulting hole is measured. The measurements find whether the soil is strong enough to build a road on. Scientists also use a penetrometer to measure how much moisture is in soil. Penetrometers are used by space probes such as the Cassini–Huygens probe, to measure the amount of moisture in soil on other planets. Penetrometers are furthermore used in glaciology to measure the strength and nature of materials underlying a glacier at its bed.

A penetrometer is also used in longer professional cricket matches, to measure how the pitch is holding up over the course of a multi-day match.

British horse racing courses have been required, since 2009, to report the readings obtained using a penetrometer designed by Cranfield University and TurfTrax, known as the GoingStick, on each day of a race meeting.[1]


A penetrometer may be used in botany to find the toughness of a leaf by measuring the force needed to punch a hole of a certain size through the leaf.

Penetrometers are also used to measure the firmness of apples and other hard fruit.[2]


Penetrometers equipped with a known needle and mass are used to determine the hardness of bitumen and thus its efficacy and material properties when applied to roads as asphalt concrete.

Food Products

Penetrometers are used for objective evaluation of food products. Penetrometers, equipped with a plunger and a needle or cone, penetrate food samples through gravitational force for a selected period of time. The distance the test device penetrates into the sample is measured to determine the relative tenderness of the samples such as baked products and gels. [3]

External links


  1. ^ "GoingStick Average Readings" (PDF). British Horseracing Authority. March 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Fruit Ripeness Testing by Wagner Instruments". Fruit Test.
  3. ^ "Foods: Experimental Perspectives, 8th Edition Margaret McWilliams, Ph.D., R.D., Professor Emeritus, California State University, Los Angeles, 2017, Pearson". Missing or empty |url= (help)
Cone penetration test

The cone penetration or cone penetrometer test (CPT) is a method used to determine the geotechnical engineering properties of soils and delineating soil stratigraphy. It was initially developed in the 1950s at the Dutch Laboratory for Soil Mechanics in Delft to investigate soft soils. Based on this history it has also been called the "Dutch cone test". Today, the CPT is one of the most used and accepted soil methods for soil investigation worldwide.

The test method consists of pushing an instrumented cone, with the tip facing down, into the ground at a controlled rate (controlled between 1.5 -2.5 cm/s accepted). The resolution of the CPT in delineating stratigraphic layers is related to the size of the cone tip, with typical cone tips having a cross-sectional area of either 10 or 15 cm², corresponding to diameters of 3.6 and 4.4 cm. A very early ultra-miniature 1 cm² subtraction penetrometer was developed and used on a US mobile ballistic missile launch system (MGM-134 Midgetman) soil/structure design program in 1984 at the Earth Technology Corporation of Long Beach, California.

Damodar Sharma

Damodar Sharma (born 1941 in Churu, India) is an engineer, educator, founder Vice-Chancellor of the Rajasthan Technical University and winner of the Silver Elephant award of the Bharat Scouts and Guides. He received a Bachelor in Civil Engineering (B.E.) from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur (1964), a Masters in Technology (M. Tech.) with specialization in geotechnical engineering from Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur (1970) and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in 1986.

Damodar Sharma initially worked as a junior engineer at the Jawahar Sagar Dam on the Chambal River. He qualified for an appointment as assistant engineer with the Rajasthan Public Service Commission and in 1964 the Director of Technical Education (Rajasthan) appointed him as lecturer in Civil Engineering based at Kota.

Fall cone test

The Fall cone test, also called the cone penetrometer test, is an alternative method to the Casagrande method for measuring the Liquid Limit of a soil sample. It is often preferred to the Casagrande method because it is more repeatable and less variable with different operators.In the Fall cone test, a soil sample is placed in a 55 mm diameter, 40 mm deep metal cup. A stainless steel cone weighing 80 g (including the shaft) and having a 30° angle is positioned so that its tip just touches the sample. The cone is released for 5 seconds so that it may penetrate the soil. The liquid limit is defined as the water content of the soil which allows the cone to penetrate exactly 20 mm during that period of time.

Because it is difficult to obtain a test with exactly 20 mm penetration, the procedure is performed multiple times with a range of water contents and the results are interpolated.

Geotechnical investigation

Geotechnical investigations are performed by geotechnical engineers or engineering geologists to obtain information on the physical properties of soil earthworks and foundations for proposed structures and for repair of distress to earthworks and structures caused by subsurface conditions. This type of investigation is called a site investigation. Additionally, geotechnical investigations are also used to measure the thermal resistivity of soils or backfill materials required for underground transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, radioactive waste disposal, and solar thermal storage facilities. A geotechnical investigation will include surface exploration and subsurface exploration of a site. Sometimes, geophysical methods are used to obtain data about sites. Subsurface exploration usually involves soil sampling and laboratory tests of the soil samples retrieved.

Surface exploration can include geologic mapping, geophysical methods, and photogrammetry, or it can be as simple as a geotechnical professional walking around on the site to observe the physical conditions at the site.

To obtain information about the soil conditions below the surface, some form of subsurface exploration is required. Methods of observing the soils below the surface, obtaining samples, and determining physical properties of the soils and rocks include test pits, trenching (particularly for locating faults and slide planes), boring, and in situ tests.

Going (horse racing)

Going (UK), track condition (US) or track rating (AUS) are the track surface of a horse racing track prior to a horse race or race meet. The going is determined by the amount of moisture in the ground and is assessed by an official steward on the day of the race.

The condition of a race track plays an important role in the performance of horses in a race. The factors that go into determining race track condition include the surface conditions, type of surface, and track configuration. The surface conditions are influenced by the type of surface factoring in soil type, and if the track is dirt, turf, artificial surface; plus surface density, porosity, compaction and moisture content.[3]

ISIRI 13136

ISIRI 13136 is a standard published by the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI) in 2011 based on Directive 86/298/EC. It defines "Rear-mounted roll over protection structures of narrow-track wheeled

agricultural and forestry tractors".

ISIRI 13137

ISIRI 13137 is a standard published by the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI) in 2011 based on Directive 87/402/EEC. It defines "Roll over protection structures mounted in front of the driver's seat on narrowtrack wheeled agricultural and forestry tractors".

Laser-induced fluorescence

Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) or laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) is a spectroscopic method in which an atom or molecule is excited to a higher energy level by the absorption of laser light followed by spontaneous emission of light. It was first reported by Zare and coworkers in 1968.LIF is used for studying structure of molecules, detection of selective species and flow visualization and measurements. The wavelength is often selected to be the one at which the species has its largest cross section. The excited species will after some time, usually in the order of few nanoseconds to microseconds, de-excite and emit light at a wavelength longer than the excitation wavelength. This fluorescent light is typically recorded with a photomultiplier tube (PMT) or filtered photodiodes.

Luna 13

Luna 13 (E-6M series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program.

The Luna 13 spacecraft was launched toward the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and accomplished a soft landing on December 24, 1966, in the region of Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms").

The petal encasement of the spacecraft was opened, antennas were erected, and radio transmissions to Earth began four minutes after the landing. On December 25 and December 26, 1966, the spacecraft television system transmitted panoramas of the nearby lunar landscape at different Sun angles. Each panorama required approximately 100 minutes to transmit. The spacecraft was equipped with a mechanical soil-measuring penetrometer, a dynamograph, and a radiation densitometer for obtaining data on the mechanical and physical properties and the cosmic ray reflectivity of the lunar surface. Transmissions from the spacecraft ceased on December 28, 1966.

Luna 13 became the third spacecraft to land successfully on the surface of the Moon (after Luna 9 and the American Surveyor 1). The probe landed in the Ocean of Storms at 18:01 UT on 24 December 1966, between the Krafft and Seleucus craters at 18°52' north latitude and 62°3' west longitude. Unlike its predecessor, the heavier Luna 13 lander (113 kilograms) carried a suite of scientific instruments in addition to the usual imaging system.

A three-axis accelerometer within the pressurized frame of the lander recorded the landing forces during impact to determine the soil structure down to a depth of 20 to 30 centimetres (7.9 to 11.8 in). A pair of spring-loaded booms was also deployed. One of these booms carried a penetrometer, designed to measure the forces required to penetrate the lunar regolith – the penetrating force being supplied by a minute explosive charge. The other boom carried a backscatter densitometer that was used to infer the density of the lunar near-surface regolith. Four radiometers recorded infrared radiation from the surface indicating a noon temperature of 117 ±3 °C while a radiation detector indicated that radiation levels would be less than hazardous for humans.

The lander returned a total of five panoramas of the lunar surface, showing a more smooth terrain than seen by Luna 9. One of the two cameras (intended to return stereo images) failed, but this did not diminish the quality of the photographs. After a fully successful mission, contact was lost at 06:13 UTC on 28 December when the on-board batteries were exhausted.

Luna 17

Luna 17 (Ye-8 series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 17.

Lunokhod 1

Lunokhod 1 (Луноход, moon walker in Russian; Аппарат 8ЕЛ № 203, vehicle 8ЕЛ№203) was the first of two robotic lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of its Lunokhod program. The Luna 17 spacecraft carried Lunokhod 1 to the Moon in 1970. Lunokhod 1 was the first remote-controlled robot "rover" to freely move across the surface of an astronomical object beyond the Earth. Lunokhod 0 (No.201), the previous and first attempt to do so, launched in February 1969 but failed to reach orbit.

Although only designed for a lifetime of three lunar days (approximately three Earth months), Lunokhod-1 operated on the lunar surface for eleven lunar days (321 Earth days) and traversed a total distance of 10.54 km.

Lunokhod programme

Lunokhod (Russian: Луноход, "Moonwalker") was a series of Soviet robotic lunar rovers designed to land on the Moon between 1969 and 1977. Lunokhod 1 was the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world.

The 1969 Lunokhod 1A (Lunokhod 0, Lunokhod No. 201) was destroyed during launch, the 1970 Lunokhod 1 and the 1973 Lunokhod 2 landed on the moon, and Lunokhod 3 (Lunokhod No. 205, planned for 1977) was never launched. The successful missions were in operation concurrently with the Zond and Luna series of Moon flyby, orbiter and landing missions.

The Lunokhods were primarily designed to support the Soviet manned moon missions during the Moon race. Instead, they were used as remote-controlled robots for exploration of the lunar surface and return its pictures after the successful Apollo manned lunar landings and cancellation of the Soviet manned moon program.

The Lunokhods were transported to the lunar surface by Luna spacecraft, which were launched by Proton-K rockets. The moon lander part of the Luna spacecraft for Lunokhods was similar to the one for sample-return missions. The Lunokhods were designed by Alexander Kemurdzhian at Lavochkin.

Not until the 1997 Mars Pathfinder was another remote-controlled vehicle put on an extraterrestrial body. In 2010, nearly forty years after the 1971 loss of signal from Lunokhod 1, the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photographed its tracks and final location, and researchers, using a telescopic pulsed-laser rangefinder, detected the robot's retroreflector.

Phobos 2

Phobos 2 was the last space probe designed by the Soviet Union. It was designed to explore the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. It was launched on 12 July 1988, and entered orbit on 29 January 1989.

Phobos 2 operated nominally throughout its cruise and Mars orbital insertion phases on 29 January 1989, gathering data on the Sun, interplanetary medium, Mars, and Phobos. Phobos 2 investigated Mars surface and atmosphere and returned 37 images of Phobos with a resolution of up to 40 meters.

Shortly before the final phase of the mission, during which the spacecraft was to approach within 50 m of Phobos' surface and release two landers, one a mobile hopper, the other a stationary platform, contact with Phobos 2 was lost. The mission ended when the spacecraft signal failed to be successfully reacquired on 27 March 1989. The cause of the failure was determined to be a malfunction of the on-board computer.

Phobos program

The Phobos (Russian: Фобос, Fobos, Greek: Φόβος) program was an unmanned space mission consisting of two probes launched by the Soviet Union to study Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos. Phobos 1 was launched on 7 July 1988, and Phobos 2 on 12 July 1988, each aboard a Proton-K rocket.

Phobos 1 suffered a terminal failure en route to Mars. Phobos 2 attained Mars orbit, but contact was lost before the final phase, prior to deployment of a planned Phobos lander. Phobos 1 and 2 were of a new spacecraft design, succeeding the type used in the Venera planetary missions of 1975–1985, last used during the Vega 1 and Vega 2 missions to Comet Halley. They each had a mass of 2600 kg (6220 kg with orbital insertion hardware attached).

The program featured cooperation from 14 other nations, including Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, France, West Germany, and the United States (which contributed the use of its NASA Deep Space Network for tracking the twin spacecraft).


Regolith () is a layer of loose, heterogeneous superficial deposits covering solid rock. It includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials and is present on Earth, the Moon, Mars, some asteroids, and other terrestrial planets and moons.

Vega 1

Vega 1 (along with its twin Vega 2) is a Soviet space probe part of the Vega program. The spacecraft was a development of the earlier Venera craft. They were designed by Babakin Space Centre and constructed as 5VK by Lavochkin at Khimki. The name VeGa (ВеГа) combines the first two letters Russian words for Venus (Венера: "Venera") and Halley (Галлея: "Galleya").

The craft was powered by twin large solar panels and instruments included an antenna dish, cameras, spectrometer, infrared sounder, magnetometers (MISCHA), and plasma probes. The 4,920 kg craft was launched by a Proton 8K82K rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Tyuratam, Kazakh SSR. Both Vega 1 and 2 were three-axis stabilized spacecraft. The spacecraft were equipped with a dual bumper shield for dust protection from Halley's comet.

Venera 12

The Venera 12 (Russian: Венера-12 meaning Venus 12) was a Soviet unmanned space mission to explore the planet Venus. Venera 12 was launched on 14 September 1978 at 02:25:13 UTC.Separating from its flight platform on December 19, 1978, the lander entered the Venus atmosphere two days later at 11.2 km/s. During the descent, it employed aerodynamic braking followed by parachute braking and ending with atmospheric braking. It made a soft landing on the surface at 06:30 Moscow time (0330 UT) on 21 December after a descent time of approximately 1 hour. The touchdown speed was 7–8 m/s. Landing coordinates are 7°S 294°E. It transmitted data to the flight platform for 110 minutes after touchdown until the flight platform moved out of range while remaining in a heliocentric orbit. Identical instruments were carried on Venera 11 and 12.

Venera 13

Venera 13 (Russian: Венера-13 meaning Venus 13) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus.

Venera 13 and 14 were identical spacecraft built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched 5 days apart, Venera 13 on 30 October 1981 at 06:04 UTC and Venera 14 on 4 November 1981 at 05:31 UTC, both with an on-orbit dry mass of 760 kg (1,680 lb).

Venera 14

Venera 14 (Russian: Венера-14 meaning Venus 14) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus.

Venera 14 was identical to the Venera 13 spacecraft and built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched 5 days apart. It was launched on 4 November 1981 at 05:31:00 UTC and Venera 13 on 30 October 1981 at 06:04:00 UTC, both with an on-orbit dry mass of 760 kg (1,680 lb).

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