It seems there is no rest for the weary Development wing of LRRD; this weekend I've been working on the next prototype of our Emflume1 -- a portable, semi-low cost "2D flume."
I've worked on this on and off for several years now; in 2012 we hope to finish development and market these flumes to university civil engineering departments, which sorely need them. The Hydrosystems Lab at the Univerisity of Illinois - UC is a great example -- it's full of very big, very expensive, super noisy flumes. Great for research, not so practical for teaching. The Emflume1 will be just about a meter long, very quiet, not so expensive, and moveable by one or two people from desktop to lab bench.
Based on a super-efficient ducted propeller design (thanks to advice from Steven Vogel, one of the best researchers and science writers alive), the unit can produce flows of around one cfs using only about 3 amps of current.
Our original small 2D flume, built especially for video production, made it into Science a couple of years ago!
This development push is stoked by our upcoming trip to the ASEE Annual Conference in San Antonio in two weeks, where we'll have a booth and meet thousands of university engineering educators.
We hope to release the Emflume1 this summer or fall; we have so much going on, it's hard to tell, and our sales have been very strong. After five years of economic drought, we have a lot of ground to gain!
This little movie shows work I did yesterday along with our Christina Bovinette, who gave up most of a holiday Sunday to come in and assemble tubing for a flow straightener in the flume. (And thanks to Jim and Nate, who came in today, Memorial Day, to get various shipments ready.)
Steve and Christina work on the Emflume1's acrylic reservoir.