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U.S. Government Aerospace Agency Chooses EIC Air Conditioned Cases for Laser Telescope and Data Tracking Equipment Protection

Market

Surveillance, Government

Application

Protection from harsh environment for weather prediction equipment


Doi Angkhang 2015

Laser telescope and data tracking equipment in harsh environments protected by EIC air conditioned cases.

The Challenge

In 2013, a U.S. government aerospace agency reached out to EIC Solutions to develop a custom solution to protect their laser telescope and data tracking equipment in harsh environments. Located outdoors in remote areas of the South Pacific, the equipment tracks and measures the presence of dust particles in the atmosphere. The collected data is then used to study the possible effects of the particles on the monsoon season and better predict dramatic weather events that cause flash floods, destruction of crops, and costly property damage.

The agency originally had bulky, immobile metal enclosures housing their sensitive equipment. Unhappy with this design, they contacted EIC Solutions to develop a lighter weight, easily transported custom solution. The result was a pair of custom EIC Defender Series Air Conditioned Transit Cases which the agency deployed in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. After a year of in-field testing the agency was extraordinarily pleased with the design and performance of the initial release and was ready for phase two. Again, working with EIC, the design was further customized and improved, incorporating what had been learned during the first year of deployment.

The Solution

EIC Solutions preliminary Defender Series Air Conditioned Rack Cases integrated with ThermoTEC thermoelectric air conditioners featured:

  • Laser Telescope Case – Portable fiberglass construction cases, with Auto Ranging (120/240VAC) 1500BTU air conditioner
  • Data Tracking Equipment Case – Portable reinforced thermoplastic rack mount cases, with Auto Ranging (120/240VAC) 2500BTU ThermoTEC air conditioner
  • Internal shock-isolated 19” rack frame
  • Slide-out shelving
  • Custom cable exits
  • Custom ducting
  • Skid rails
  • Custom shock isolated equipment platform
  • Casters
  • Digital temperature controllers to maintain tight +/-1F desired internal temperature

Thus, by coupling an EIC thermoelectric air conditioner with a custom case design, the final package was able to be arranged to meet the application demands both thermally and dimensionally while also meeting requirements for portability, corrosion-resistance and low-maintenance.

Version 2.0 Design

During the field testing of the initial release, the agency documented their desired changes that would further enhance an already custom solution into an even more effective, application-specific product. They worked closely with EIC Solutions’ Sales and Engineering groups to further optimize the design’s functionality, mobility, and durability. The collaborative effort between EIC Solutions and the agency resulted in one of the most unique, application specific products EIC Solutions has developed.

The modifications included:

  • Laser Telescope Case
    • All stainless steel hardware to better withstand the corrosive environment
    • Easily removable stainless steel casters
    • Custom drain holes in the top cover flange to manage water accumulation to help prevent mosquito breeding
    • Improved condensate drain to enhance bulkhead set up to the data tracking case
    • Completely opaque top lid to assist in laser calibration procedure
    • Increased flex ducting to 4” diameter to account for a design change in customers laser system
    • Additional 3” top lid for use in transit
    • Silicone around all of the gaskets to prevent tearing around the bolt holes
    • Upgraded power cables
    • Reconfigured cable exits, ducting, and bulkhead plate for improved functionality in field
  • Data Tracking Equipment Case
    • Enhanced case material to fiberglass which proved to be a durable construction material during the initial release on the laser telescope case
    • Changed case color from gray to white to decrease solar heat load
    • Revised bulkhead plate cutouts to accommodate a rotated digital temperate controller for better access
    • Custom drain holes to allow the thermoelectric cooler’s drain line to exit through bulkhead fitting
    • All stainless steel hardware to better withstand the corrosive environment
    • Additional silicone sealing on all gaskets
    • Upgraded power cables

Benefits/Results

After completing a series of comprehensive design changes, proposed modifications and functionality enhancements, the agency is eager to implement the new 2015 release. The Version 2.0 Defender Series Transit Case modifications will reduce implementation time, increase mobility, functionality, and performance during the next deployment.

“EIC Solutions is dedicated to working with customers on their unique applications to engineer high quality solutions tailored to their specific needs. We can accommodate precise requirements across a variety of industries, delivering unparalleled customer satisfaction.” said sales engineer Lori Galdo. “The collaborative effort between the agency, sales, and engineering resulted in an outstanding equipment protection package that met all of the agency’s application requirements.”

EIC Solutions provides compact, reliable, rugged, low maintenance electronic equipment protection products. If you have sensitive electronic equipment being mounted in harsh environments, please contact one of EIC Solutions’ knowledgeable sales engineers to discuss your application and how EIC can provide a solution that fits your unique needs.