The SOEST Engineering Support Facility
The Engineering Support Facility (ESF) provides a variety of engineering support for scientists and researchers of the University of Hawaii, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). We encourage researchers to come and talk with us to see how we can help with their projects.
Main Point of Contact:
ESF project support comes under several categories:
1) New Funded Grants.
The ESF supports researchers in planning proposals that will utilize ESF capabilities. For funded grants, the support should ideally begin at the early proposal stage. In consultation with the researcher, ESF can suggest practical and creative ways of obtaining and recording the desired data. The researcher needs realistic line-item estimates of the costs of labor and material for the proposal. To this end, a preliminary design for the system should be filled out to an extent necessary to generate reasonable estimates of the tasks. Frequently during this phase, additional requirements come to light that will be necessary to address for a fully developed experimental system. For example, an experiment requiring the integration of several commercial instruments usually requires a mechanical framework for deployment, some interface circuits, and possibly a microcontroller and a power system.
2) Support for Ongoing Funded Programs.
The Engineering Support Facility has personnel and experience to repair and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment. In some cases, the existing laboratory instruments need some custom enhancements or adaptations for the particular science in view. ESF has experience going back over 35 years in custom modifications and enhancements to existing instruments.
The ESF personnel have special areas of expertise that can be helpful to SOEST programs. Currently, there are two senior electrical engineers, a senior mechanical engineer, two electronics technicians, a machinist and a shop assistant. Facilities include computers, large-format printers, CAD software, offices, staging areas, electronics shops, and a fully equipped machine shop, with storage for various electronics parts, construction materials and time-sensitive deployment systems.
In experiment system integration, ESF can provide microcontroller-based systems for integrating all of the components of an experiment. ESF has extensive experience with a variety of sensors and transducers such as hydrophones and seismic, water current, pressure and temperature sensors. ESF can provide custom Analog-to-Digital converters up to 24-bit resolution. Besides the design of electronic circuits, the ESF provides printed circuit board layout and outsourced PCB production, assembly and testing of printed circuits and integration into the finished experiment.
3) Machine Shop.
The ESF has a well-equipped machine shop and an expert instrument maker. The machine shop has a HURCO CNC mill with a 44” x 24” bed. Complex shapes can be machined from direct programmed input from the drawings. There are four lathes capable of handling a wide variety of tasks; some can handle objects up to 12 inches in diameter and up to 48 inches length. The ESF instrument maker has extensive experience in machining titanium pressure cases and end-caps for long-term deployment in the deep ocean. In addition, we can weld and bend tubular titanium frames for instrument assemblies. We also have experience in fabrication in a variety of other materials.
4) Pressure Test Facilities.
The ESF operates a hydraulic pressure test vessel that can test pressure cases from 15 to 10,000 psia, with electronic feed-thru capability. The test vessel can accommodate objects up to 30 inches in outside diameter by 13 feet length.
Page last Modified 12/04/2008