October 1, 2017.
In the early 1990s, UCAR fabricated a snowfall simulator that they have used to test deicing fluids for aircraft, among other applications. Ice cores are actuated by a stepper motor and travel along a linear guide rail feeding it into an auger bit. This bit shaves the ice core, creating conditions that simulate snowfall. Currently, the simulator is in satisfactory operating condition, however upgrades have been proposed to make the simulator more user friendly. When one ice core has been exhausted, the motor controlling the carriage must be actuated in reverse to move the mount along a lead screw back to reloading position, which can take upwards of three minutes. The purpose of this project is to retrofit the simulator with a quick release system that allows for the user to manually unlock the carriage and quickly pull it back into the reloading position, decreasing turn around time in the testing process. The final design is a symmetric 2-clamp system that is installed directly onto the ice core mount. The two clamps engage the lead screw from the left and the right. To reload the ice cores, the user must simply lift the Destaco clamps on each side and pull the entire carriage back to the original position at the front of the simulator.
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program under Grant # 1340110. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research was also made possible by the California State University STEM Teacher and Researcher Program, in partnership with Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org) and National Center for Atmospheric Research.