The Saturn V Instrument Unit is a ring-shaped structure fitted to the top of the Saturn V rocket's third stage (S-IVB) and the Saturn IB's second stage (S-IVB). It was immediately below the SLA (Spacecraft/Lunar Module Adapter) panels that contained the Lunar Module. The Instrument Unit contains the guidance system for the Saturn V rocket. Some of the electronics contained within the Instrument Unit are a digital computer, analog flight control computer, emergency detection system, inertial guidance platform, control accelerometers and control rate gyros. The instrument unit (IU) for Saturn V was designed by NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and was developed from the Saturn I IU. NASA's contractor to construct the Saturn V Instrument Unit was International Business Machines (IBM).
One of the unused Instrument Units is currently on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The plaque for the Unit has the following description:
The Saturn V rocket, which sent astronauts to the Moon, used inertial guidance, a self-contained system that guided the rocket's trajectory. The rocket booster had a guidance system separate from those on the command and lunar modules. It was contained in an instrument unit like this one, a ring located between the rocket's third stage and the command and lunar modules. The ring contained the basic guidance system components—a stable platform, accelerometers, a digital computer, and control electronics—as well as radar, telemetry, and other units. The instrument unit's stable platform was based on an experimental unit for the German V-2 rocket of World War II. The Bendix Corporation produced the platform, while IBM designed and built the unit's digital computer.
Famous quotes containing the words saturn, instrument and/or unit:
“The forehead and the little ears
Have gone where Saturn keeps the years;
The breast where roses could not live
Has done with rising and with falling.”
—Edwin Arlington Robinson (18691935)
“We ought, says Kant, to become acquainted with the instrument, before we undertake the work for which it is to be employed; for if the instrument be insufficient, all our trouble will be spent in vain. The plausibility of this suggestion has won for it general assent and admiration.... But the examination can be only carried out by an act of knowledge. To examine this so-called instrument is the same as to know it.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)
“During the Suffragette revolt of 1913 I ... [urged] that what was needed was not the vote, but a constitutional amendment enacting that all representative bodies shall consist of women and men in equal numbers, whether elected or nominated or coopted or registered or picked up in the street like a coroners jury. In the case of elected bodies the only way of effecting this is by the Coupled Vote. The representative unit must not be a man or a woman but a man and a woman.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)