Find the lateral area of a life raft in the form of a regular pentagonal pyramid if the slant height is 17 ft. and one edge of the base is 15 ft. How many persons could be accommodated if a person occupies a space of 8.5 sq. ft.?
1. Draw a rough sketch.
2. Let e denote the edge of the base, $\displaystyle h_s$ the slant height.
Calculate the radius r of the circumscribed circle:
$\displaystyle \dfrac{\tfrac12 e}{r} = \cos(36^\circ)$
3. The area of a regular pentagon consists of 5 isosceles triangles with the base e and the radius as the other legs.
$\displaystyle A_5=5 \cdot \frac12 \cdot e \cdot r \cdot \cos(36^\circ)$
Divide $\displaystyle A_5$ by 8.5 to answer the question.
3. The lateral area consists of 5 isosceles triangles with the base $\displaystyle e=15$ and the height $\displaystyle h_s = 17 '$.