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Shared Facilities

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VC Area / SIO Section Department Facility Description Instruments
EARTH IGPP Planetary and Experimental Petrology Laboratory (PEPL)

PEPL houses two presses (pressure up to about 30 GPa and T up to >2200degC). One press goes up to 4 GPa and allows working on cm-size samples, the other press goes up to about 30 GPa and allows working on mm-size samples. Both reach temperatures up to >2200degC. In situ and real time electrical measurements (impedance spectroscopy) can be performed while the sample is under pressure and temperature. Applications encompass Earth and planetary sciences and include material science and engineering. This lab offers the capability to prepare the starting samples for high-pressure experiments and the recovered samples for analyses. The available equipment is used to address the needs of SIO and UCSD users. More information is available at

Some equipment requires special training and/or providing necessary reagents/supplies.  Contact for use cost.

Type: Instrumentation
Recharge: No

Director: Anne Pommier
Contact: Anne Pommier

Multi-anvil apparatus, Piston cylinder, Spectrometer (impedance), Petrographic microscope, Box furnace, Cut-off machine
OA CASPO Instrument Development Group (IDG)

This is a successful and well-utilized recharge facility. Its main source of support is through glider and float (Argo) programs, but it does instrument development for individual PIs as its schedule/workload allows. Design, construction and operation of a range of oceanographic instruments including ones based on autonomous profiling floats and underwater gliders

Type: Engineering Support
Recharge: Yes

Director: Russ Davis/Dean Roemmich/Dan Rudnick
Contact: Jeffrey Sherman

OA CASPO COMPAS Shared Computer Facility

Primary Cluster for the SIO COMPASS Shared Computer Facility. Limited access.

access to small collegial group-housed in the COMPAS computing facility

Recharge: No

Director: Bruce Cornuelle
Contact: Bruce Cornuelle

Computer cluster
OA CASPO Electromagnetic Research Facility (EMRF)

The EMRF is not so much a laboratory but a research setup located outdoors so as to avoid the electric and magnetic interference and vibrational disturbances commonly produced by standard laboratories. Designed and built to simulate the ambient electric and earth's magnetic fields present anywhere in the world's oceans in a large, land-based seawater tank. Facility offers a unique precision research tool no other Oceanographic Institution or Naval Research Laboratory in the world has available. It excels in featuring large ambient magnetic and electric fields, yet of great precision. The fields in the central cylindrical seawater observation tank can be smoothly varied in direction and strength, up to ten times natural. Moreover, the fields in the observation tank can also be nulled completely.

Type: Facility
Recharge: Yes

Director: Ad Kalmijn
Contact: Peter Baker

Test tank (Seawater land-based), Power supply/amplifiers, Coil system
OA CASPO Lagrangian Drifter Laboratory

This facility's primary activity consists of fabricating Lagrangian drifter array systems that consist of Surface Velocity Program (SVP) drifter buoys in various configurations. LDL also rents out a Wave Glider which can be piloted from shore using satellite communication.

Type: Engineering Support
Recharge: Yes

Director: Luca Centurioni
Contact: Luca Centurioni

OA MPL MPL R&D Machine Shop

The Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) Research and Development (R&D) Shop was established in 1946 to support seagoing scientific groups with the design and fabrication of specialized oceanographic research equipment. After almost 70 years, the MPL R&D Shop has significant experience in the design and fabrication of scientific devices in support of oceanographic projects including precision optical equipment, sonar housings, deep sea pressure cases, winches, heave compensators, research equipment deployment, boom fabrication and a variety of marine equipment support devices. TheShop also performs repairs on winches, cranes, hydraulic controls and a variety of special valves used in marine applications, as well as experience in construction, outfitting, deployment and maintaining sea buoys from 10 meters to 3 meters in diameter. In addition to all the fabrication and maintenance capabilities, the MPL shop handles all mooring operations for R/P FLIP during it's numerous research expeditions. TheShop, consisting of 18,000 square feet of both inside and outside space, has a wide variety of equipment from small precision machines to large shipyard type machinery, as well as an environmental test chamber, and special facilities for conducting equipment pressure tests, circuit board fabrication, and plastic potting. We also have 3D CAD/CAM programming capabilities for mills and lathes utilizing Mastercam 5X.

Type: Machine Shop
Recharge: Yes

Director: William Kuperman
Contact: Frank Biegler

Winches, Heave compensators, Pressure testing, Circuit board fabrication, Plastic potting, Milling machines, Lathes, Environmental test chamber, 3D CAD/CAM (programming for mills and lathes utilizing Mastercam 5X)
OA MPL CO2 in Seawater Measurement Facility

Access is provided to equipment in Dickson lab for the measurement of pH, total dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity, and charges are levied (a) for training and (b) per sample run. The facility can also provide suitable sampling bottles, etc. for the collection of samples for CO2 in seawater properties, and will run such samples on behalf of others - at a cost.

1. The training on, and use of, instruments through recharge is only available to UCSD personnel;
2. Recharge for samples analyzed is available using UCSD Index numbers;
3. For non-UCSD analyses, the running of samples requires that an appropriate Service Contract be established.

Type: Facility
Recharge: Yes

Director: Andrew Dickson
Contact: Andrew Dickson

Spectrophotometric system for measurement of seawater pH, Acidimetric titration system for measurement of seawater alkalinity, Extraction / couometry system for measurement of total dissolved inorganic carbon in seawater
OA MPL Modular Aerial Sensing System (MASS)

The MASS is a shared facility that is flown on leased aircraft. Data is collected from the various instruments in the system and provided to the "customer". To date work has been completed for Falk Feddersen and Sarah Giddings in several experiments, plus a researcher at UCSB.

Contact for cost arrangements.

Type: Instrumentation
Recharge: Yes

Director: K. Melville
Contact: Luc Lenain

MASS (Modular Aerial Sensing System)
SIO Benthic Invertebrate Collection

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Benthic Invertebrate Collection houses more than 45,000 lots, containing more than 750,000 specimens. This material represents the collecting efforts of Scripps scientists, researchers from other institutions, and donations from private collectors.

While the holdings are worldwide in extent, they are primarily from the eastern Pacific. The Collection has considerable material from Pacific deep sea (>1,000 m) locations, including the Tonga and Mariana Trenches. Samples were collected with a variety of devices from intertidal hand collecting and SCUBA to rock dredges and trawls.

The major holdings of the Collection are in mollusks and crustaceans, including an extensive barnacle collection from worldwide locations. The Collection contains more than 150 type lots used in species descriptions. About 40,000 lots are catalogued in an electronic database that is publicly accessible online. The Collection houses a systematic reference library and reprint collection.

The Collection supports scientific research by providing specimens for study on the taxonomy, evolution, and ecology of benthic invertebrates. Specimens are available for examination at Scripps and for loan to researchers at recognized institutions worldwide, consistent with our loan policies. The Collection serves as a long-term repository for specimens, including material properly preserved for genomic studies.

Collection materials are also used to support educational programs at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and as resources for graduate courses and research at Scripps.

Type: Collection
Recharge: No

Director: Greg Rouse
Contact: Charlotte Seid, Collection Manager
Website: Benthic Invertebrate Collection

SIO MSDS Hydraulics Lab

The function of the Hydraulics Laboratory is to provide expertise, space, facilities, and equipment for physical and biological oceanographic research. The Hydraulics Laboratory offers many testing facilities including a wind-wave channel, three pressure testing vessels, a deep tank, and a temperature/pressure calibration facility. An on-site machine shop, welding equipment, 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 also maintains a small pool of field instruments that can be made available to researchers. Equipment: Wind Wave Channel, Glass Walled Wave Channel, Deep Tank (10m deep), Stratified Flow Channel, Pressure Test Chambers, Environmental Test Chamber (Volume: 1 m^3; Temperature range: -70 to 170 oC; Humidity control: 20 to 95% RH; Ambient pressure), Rotating Table Facility, Ocean Atmosphere Research Pressure Facility, Ocean Atmosphere Research Pool, field instruments, machining, welding, and fabrication resources.

Type: Facility
Recharge: Yes

Director: Grant Deane
Contact: Ken Duff

Wind-wave channel, Flow channels, Test tank (deep), Environmental test chamber