Electronics & Instrumentation
The Electronics Shop (part of the IIHR Engineering Services team) is staffed by three full-time engineers who assist researchers in the selection, use, calibration, and care of data-acquisition equipment and systems for a broad range of model and field research. Several levels of instruments to measure a variety of fluid-flow parameters are available.
When the desired equipment is not available commercially, shop staff can design and construct precision instruments. These instruments are used to measure a number of physical parameters encountered in laboratory models and field data acquisition, which relate to both basic and applied research questions. The Electronics Shop makes the latest advances in measurement technology available to students and staff.
The Electronics Shop normally stocks several levels of instruments to measure a variety of variables, including:
- Air speed
- Water elevation
- Water speed
- Other fluid-flow parameters
The different levels of instruments are matched to the complexity, speed, and accuracy of the required measurement. The output of the instrument can be as simple as user visualization, or as complex as automated computer sampling at the rate of up to 2 million samples per second.
However, because many IIHR model studies are unique, data-acquisition systems are often not commercially available. Shop personnel commonly purchase or build equipment components and incorporate them into customized data-acquisition systems to fit each project’s needs. Shop personnel also design and maintain electrical power and control systems for IIHR buildings, including fan- and pump-speed control systems, probe positioning systems, flume tilting control systems, and special electrical requirements for research equipment.
The Electronics Shop provides the latest advances in measurement technologies. Some of these technologies include:
- ADV (acoustic Doppler velocimetry)
- LDV (laser Doppler velocimetry)
- PIV (particle image velocimetry)
- ADCP (acoustic Doppler current profiler)
- Single- and multi-beam sonar
- LiDAR (light detection and ranging)
This combination of the latest in computers and data-acquisition boards, along with the state-of-the-art data-collection and analysis software, provides data as accurate and organized as possible.