Leinani is from Mililani, Oahu and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama in 2017. She recently earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University. At Brown, she founded and led Brown’s Hawaii club, Hawaii at Brown, and was heavily involved in the design curriculum for her school’s introductory engineering course. Leinani will continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree in Brown’s 5th-Year Master’s Engineering Program, focusing on Solid Mechanics. She hopes to pursue a career that involves improving the safety and efficiency of engineered objects.

Home Island: O’ahu

High School: Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama

Institution when accepted: Brown University

Akamai Project: Creating a Safer Work Environment during Segment Exchanges

Project Site: W. M. Keck Observatory (Keck) – Waimea, Hawai‘i Island HI

Mentors: Truman Wold, Jim Thorne, and Joel Payne

Project Abstract:

The primary mirrors of the W. M. Keck Telescopes are each composed of 36 segments. Six segments are changed out every month for cleaning, recoating, and repairing. During segment exchanges, a technician is required to stand under a 1000lb suspended mirror segment to manually clean the transportation cart attachment points and also manually guide the segment onto the cart. The safety of the technician under the load is not guaranteed, so a solution is needed to protect them. The first step was to understand the process of segment exchanges to define the requirements of the solution, then conceptualize and compare solutions. During the requirement process, the segment exchange procedure was divided into two parts resulting in the need of two different solutions. The first solution required a safety structure, while the second solution required an alignment tool. From our analysis of the safety structure, it is recommended to implement a cage system that will prevent the fall of a suspended load by supporting the segment on three posts and protect the technician. It is also recommended to utilize a temporary bumper alignment tool to guide the radial post in the middle of the mirror segment during the second part of the segment exchange process. Both solutions are preliminary conceptual designs. The safety structure progressed more through the design process, in which initial finite element analysis was conducted to ensure proper dimensions and initial off-the-shelf parts were identified.