The goal of this website is to provide information regarding the spring 2014 NAU mechanical engineering capstone project for the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer

NPOI Nitrogen Distribution

The Navy Precision Optical Interferometer, (NPOI) is used to obtain images of the sky that are used for the constant remapping of stars and space debris. This data is used for GPS data and satellite tracking.

Project Overview

Along each of the three 300m long arms of the interferometer array, there are 10 imaging stations and an astrometric hut. In addition to these 33 stations, there are four sets of gate valves that are operated using 3in bore pneumatic cylinders. Each imaging station requires nitrogen to operate several 1in bore pneumatic actuators as well as purge nitrogen over expensive siderostat mirrors.

The goal of this project is to design a system that will provide nitrogen to all stations using a single 1000L liquid nitrogen Dewar. This system will replace the current setup that utilizes 150lb gaseous nitrogen tanks at each location.