Home Island: Kauai
High School: Island School
Institute when accepted: Kauai Community College
Improving the Current Design of a Vacuum Pump Station Cart
Project Site: Gemini Observatory
Mentor: Chris Yamasaki
Many scientific instruments in the Gemini Observatory require vacuum technology. Vacuum pumps are used in astronomical instruments to create an environment that is suitable for proper detector operation. When vacuum is applied to a sealed vessel, undesired gas molecules are removed to prevent the formation of liquid or ice at very low temperatures. Gemini instruments regularly operate at low temperatures within this cryogenic range; a vacuum pump station is essential to meet their operational criteria. This project is to redesign, fabricate, and assemble a new vacuum cart with improved ergonomics and serviceability. The design is intended to reduce operator fatigue and discomfort and also increase service accessibility to components located on the cart. Currently, the existing design model does not meet user requirements. The current design is unable to be transported onto the Instrument Platform Lift (IPL) because the ramp is too narrow and also unable to go through standard doorway openings. There are six stages of this project to redesign this cart: (1) identify the parts and components; (2) design the mounting components of the cart using AutoCAD LT 2014; (3) identify and procure components and perform construction; (4) transfer electrical components and re-wire components; (5) test the final assembly and verify the system’s performance; (6) deliver documentation of the final product, including AutoCAD drawings, material lists, and cost analysis.