Six degree-of-freedom motion data from projectiles free-falling through water and embedding in soft soil are measured using a low-cost inertial measurement unit, consisting of a tri-axis accelerometer and a three-component gyroscope. A comprehensive framework for interpreting the measured data is described and the merit of this framework is demonstrated by considering sample test data for free-falling projectiles that gain velocity as they fall through water and self-embed in the underlying soft clay. The paper shows the importance of considering such motion data from an appropriate reference frame by showing good agreement in embedment depth data derived from the motion data with independent direct measurements. Motion data derived from the inertial measurement unit are used to calibrate a predictive model for calculating the final embedment depth of a dynamically installed anchor.
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