Course: 22.423 - Capstone
Semester: Spring 2006
Instructor: Sammy Shina
Partner:Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI)
Partnership Description: UMASS Lowell S-L students divided into four groups or teams to interact with partner organizations listed above. WHOI is a non-profit organization specializing in ocean research, engineering and education located in Woods Hole, MA on the southwest corner of Cape Cod. WHOI’s senior engineer, Jim Valdes, described an independent remote water sampling machine called “Argo” in need of redesign. He met with the UML team a couple of times during the semester and reviewed their final results. One of the graduating UML students was hired full-time by WHOI.
Project Description: SOLO Gear Case Load Cell for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Mechanical engineering capstone students were asked to design a tester mechanism for a high torque motor and gear case used in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) Argo Program. The program consists of a global array of 3000 free-drifting profiling floats that measure the salinity of the upper 2000 meters of ocean, allowing for continuous monitoring of temperature salinity and velocity of the upper ocean. The floats employ a high torque motor and gear box to maintain depth, by using a bladder that is inflated or deflated accordingly, by mechanical motion. The load cell is designed to simulate a load on the gear case motors similar to that which the motors will see in the ocean. The load cell and test apparatus designed by the students will ensure the proper operation of the floats in the ocean for the designed- in period.
Positive results for community: WHOI was very satisfied with the deliverables and hired one of the students as a full time engineer when he graduated. The only negative result was “the amount of time it took for the students to complete the project on time, and its effect on other course of study that they are taking.” Overall this was a “very satisfactory project and results to all stakeholders (professor, students, customer [WHOI].)”