Shem Livai was born and raised in Ebeye, Marshall Islands. He is currently attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He has been fascinated with the engineering field since he was in high school because of his strong interest in airplanes and rockets. Shem loves playing basketball, hanging out with friends and family and listening to music. After obtaining his degree he plans to go back to assist his country in creating a better and brighter future.
Home Island: Marshall Islands
Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Akamai Project: All-Sky Camera for Mauna Kea
Project Site: Institute for Astronomy, Hilo
Mentors: Colin Aspin, Bo Reipurth
The Institute for Astronomy is building three all-sky cameras, one on Mauna Kea, one on Mauna Loa, and one at Cerro Armazones in Chile, to see cloud coverage over the whole sky by monitoring background star brightness. If part of the sky is seen to have clouds and while another region is clear, then astronomers will know to observe in the clear spots. Before installing the first all-sky camera on Mauna Kea, an enclosure for the camera had to be designed and built that could withstand the harsh surroundings and function in such high altitudes. The first step of my project was to brainstorm and make drawings of enclosures that would successfully overcome the project challenges, which were providing adequate ventilation to the camera, keeping the camera lens from fogging, avoiding snow buildup, and being able to withstand high winds. Due to budget constraints, it was necessary to gain approval on every aspect of the project because we could not afford to make mistakes. In the second phase of my project, I built the enclosure using a junction box as the shell of the enclosure, and using AutoCAD-designed pieces of metal to hold the dome and camera fixed. The resulting enclosure overcame our stated challenges and stayed within our budget constraints. Now that the housing is done, future work will be done by IfA personnel to obtain the promising images that the all-sky camera will provide.