Hydraulics Lab



The Hydraulics Laboratory offers various testing facilities. An on-site machine shop, fabrication tools and the in house expertise to use them greatly enhance the capability of the laboratory to serve a wide variety of scientific projects and research. 

Building dimensions are 31 m by 46 m. Adjacent is an asphalt-surfaced work yard 31 m by 40 m. Throughout the laboratory there is access to fresh and salt water (which can be chilled and filtered), drainage trenches, electric power (120V single phase and 208V three phase), and compressed air.


Wind Wave Channel

Interior dimensions are 33 m long, 0.5 m wide with a normal water depth of 0.5 m. The electro-hydraulic servo-actuated wave generator will generate waves to 25 cm high. All side walls and 11 m of the tank bottom are glass to provide optical access. Different configurations of beaches can be installed. There is also a reversible flow system variable to .041 cubic meters/sec. A small tow cart runs the full length of the channel and has a variable speed range of zero to 74 cm/s. The channel also has a closed-loop air filtration system that meets class 100 clean room standards and includes filters for organic and inorganic gases

Keck OAR Pressure Facility/Pressure Bomb

The Marine Sciences Development Center manages this 69 MPa (10,000 PSIG) pressure chamber for the Keck Center. Interior dimensions are 0.35 m diameter and 1.8m length. Fresh or salt water is available. Pressure measurement is accurate to <+/- 0.1% full scale.

Keck Deep Tank/OAR Pool

The Marine Sciences Development Center manages this testing pool located at the Keck Center. Oval shape, interior dimensions are 5.5 m width and 12.5 m length. Shallow depth is 4m with a deep section at 9.1m.  Fresh or salt water is available.


 The Scripps Ocean-Atmosphere Research Simulator (SOARS), will provide wind, waves, atmospheric, biological, and thermal controls capable of simulating real-world conditions in a laboratory scale simulator. 


The Scripps Oceanography MakerSpace is in the Hydraulics Laboratory. It will provide the community with a shared space with traditional tooling, digital design software, rapid prototyping tools, and test facilities with an emphasis on the marine and earth sciences. It will serve as an educational space that promotes hands-on creativity and innovation, a collaborative space that fosters communication between diverse groups of people and research disciplines, and a design space for developing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

This facility will leverage decades of Scripps expertise in earth science and capitalize on the existing unique recharge capabilities already present in the H-Lab (both equipment like wave channels and pressure test vessels, and the technical experience).

The MakerSpace will have multiple goals:

  • Support Scripps graduate and undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and self-guided discovery of new technology in a hands-on environment.
  • Provide advanced resources for shared use by Scripps faculty and staff.
  • As part of the UC San Diego Collaboration of Likeminded Learners And Builders (COLLAB) infrastructure, it will foster educational ties between students and faculty at Scripps and the UC San Diego campus.

Ultimately, the Scripps MakerSpace will foster the training of the next generation of earth scientists and engineers across UC San Diego by supporting individual research, exploratory learning and capstone student projects.


Direct and 802.11 wireless Ethernet connections are available throughout the lab. A machine shop is available for maintenance tasks and research support.  The lab has a 3,500 lb capacity forklift.


Facilities include the Wind Wave Channel (WW),  Keck OAR Pressure Facility/Pressure Bomb (PB), Glass Channel (GC) and Keck Deep Tank/OAR Pool, which is managed and scheduled separately. Please contact Janel or Karen below for inquiries about the Keck Deep Tank/OAR Pool or any of the facilities above.

UC Users: Rates for Pressure Facility and Glass Channel are $500/day (up to 24 hours) and $250/half-day (up to 4 hours). Rates for the OAR Pool is $50/hour up to 4 hours or $300 per day.

Non-UC Users: Rates for Glass Channel are are $1000/day (up to 24 hours) and $500/half-day (up to 4 hours). Rates for the Oar Pool is $625 for 1/2 day or less or $1,250 for a full day. 

NOTE: These rates do not include extra service charges such as a crane operator or forklift support, which are $150/hour. Please contact us for further information should you require any extra services.

**The Wind Wave Channel is under construction until late 2020. Contact us to inquire about using the Glass Channel for small instrument testing.**

Your reservation for the Glass Channel and/or Wind Wave Channel may be forfeited at MSDC's discretion to accommodate time-sensitive projects for UCSD users. Should this occur, we will do our best to provide you with ample notice and alternative dates. Please contact our office with any questions.

Please indicate which facility you would like to schedule and include your index number in your email.

Contact Robert Klidy or Karen Wilson or to schedule facilities: (858) 534-2940. If you need technical support, please contact Robert Klidy.


Policies and Procedures