Friday evening, University of Maryland Mechanical Engineering student Cooper Gilbert gave a demonstration on how 3D printers work. Our prototype radiation/weather shield for our instrument package is made up of 3D printed layers that stack on top of each other. The pictures below show the 3D printer creating one of these such layers, in two separate pieces that must be glued together (due to size limitations). After 7 or so of these are created, a top and bottom layer will be created to make it a complete enclosure to protect our sensors and electronics from the outdoors.
Just this past Thursday, we deployed our first prototype sensor package in the field at the Howard University – Beltsville research site in Beltsville, MD. Unfortunately, due to a communications issue we don’t yet have any data but hope to have this resolved soon. This location is home to air quality research instruments owned by Howard University as well as the Maryland Dept. of the Environment. (MDE)
Here is preliminary view of what our instrument will look like!
The outside is a radiation shield which provide protection from the sun and all other weather. It is specially designed to allow for proper ventilation for the most accurate measurements. It has louvers or angled shutters to keep air flowing and anything else out.
We are going to use a 3D printer to make each piece of the radiation shield and assemble it by stacking them on top of one another.
Inside the shield, there are two components, a battery in yellow and the base station assembly in blue and red. The base station assembly has a housing, inside of which is the Raspberry Pi (blue). The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is in the middle (red) and the CO2 sensor on the top (red). There are also two satellite boards in blue on the walls which have more sensors on them such as temperature and humidity.