View Schedule or contact Janel Humphrey or Karen Wilson to schedule facilities: (858) 534-2940

The Hydraulics Laboratory offers many testing facilities including a wind-wave channel, three pressure testing vessels, and a temperature/pressure calibration facility. 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.  The Hydraulics Laboratory Technology Application group has a collection of mechanical hardware for oceanographic moorings and land-based field research which can be made available to Scripps researchers.

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.

Temperature/Pressure Calibration Facility

There is a calibration tank, 0.51 deep by .51 m wide by 1.83 m long (.48 cubic meters) with temperature control of several millidegrees and temperature measurement = +/- one millidegree. There are two separate pneumatic pressure standard measurement and control systems ranging from atmospheric to either 100 or 300 PSIG with < +/-.01 % full scale accuracy.

Wind Wave Channel

Interior dimensions are 44.5 m long, 2.39 m wide, and 2.44 m deep with a maximum water depth of 2 m. Strategically placed windows , the longest being 5.5 m, allow optical access from the side. The plywood and steel truss construction allows the insertion of instrumentation through the sides or bottom. The wave generator, an electro-hydraulic servo-system, can create a maximum wave height of 45 cm at 5 seconds. Opposite the wave generator is a fixed 1:10 slope beach. An open circuit wind tunnel produces variable wind velocity ranging from 0 to 16 m/s with a 1.5 m water depth. A tow cart runs the length of the channel. Its velocity, which is precisely controlled by a closed loop electrical servo-motor, is variable from 0 to 2.0 m/s with a tow force of 2.2 kN max. to 1.1 kN at maximum velocity.

Glass Walled 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

Rotating Table Facility

A table with a diameter of 1.5 m (60") rotates on hydraulic bearings and supports an open top, cylindrical, acrylic tank with an ID of 1.2 m (48.25") and a height of 0.6 m (23.5").  The maximum rotation rate exceeds 1 rev/s.

Field Project Mechanical Hardware

The Hydraulics Laboratory Technology Application group has a collection of mechanical hardware for oceanographic moorings and land-based field research which can be made available to Scripps researchers.  Field project support is available with advance notice.

Pressure Test Chambers

10,000 psi (689 bar)

  • Interior dimensions are 0.23 m diameter and 0.63 m length plus 0.40 m conical bottom.

2000 psi (138 bar)

  • Interior dimensions are 0.48 m diameter and 0.89 m length plus hemispherical heads.

All with working fluids of either ambient or chilled, fresh or salt water. Pressure measurement is accurate to <+/- 0.11% full scale. Electrical feed-throughs are available.

Ocean Atmosphere Research Pressure Facility

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

Ocean Atmosphere Research Pool

The Hydraulics Laboratory does not manage but does have access to 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 4 m with a deep section at 9.1 m.  Fresh or salt water is available.


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.