Our client, the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM), is a renowned research facility within Cranfield University, dedicated to the progress of atmospheric science. FAAM is an airborne laboratory managed by scientists, engineers, flight technicians and project managers, who run flights over the North Sea to detect ozone levels and support research on climate patterns.
Scope of works
The aircraft is filled with high level, sensitive scientific equipment. The laboratory enables scientists to minimise errors and downtime during the testing of equipment on very expensive flights.
FAAM needed to replace some old systems with 2 x 10kVA 50 to 400Hz converters and 2 x 50amp 28VDC rectifiers. Because the converters supplied various plugs in the linked laboratory, the scope also included ensuring that the required load was delivered precisely at the point of use.
Frequency and voltage conversion
Many clients need to convert voltage and frequency to use different equipment form the local supply. For FAAM this was to provide an aviation supply to test their high end scientific equipment in the laboratory, while avoiding disruption to their aircraft’s flight missions.
Safe disposal of existing equipment
We were asked to remove, and safely and responsibly dispose of the existing equipment, one component of which wasn’t working, and to replace it with modern systems whilst retaining the existing wiring between the plant room and laboratory.
Not only did we replace 2 x 50amp DC rectifiers with a 3 x 50amp modular system and ensure full uptime in an N+1 configuration, the 400Hz systems also provided the redundancy required.Interestingly we uncovered a wiring short circuit that hadn’t previously been identified. We also fully mapped all plugs back to each individual unit, with two engineers working together to ensure every plug was fully mapped.
In addition to providing new, more reliable units, the most striking result visually, was the amount of space freed up by the new systems we had installed. This highlighted the continued developments in modern systems, which are much smaller than older versions, including our own.
A particularly satisfying part of this project was the opportunity for Power Systems International to provide the full end to end solution. Typically the defining line for our projects is at the output of our unit. In this case, working together with the client, we extended our work to the plugs in the laboratory, and allowed two paths, A and B, to create redundancy throughout the laboratory.