Kyle Loo was born and raised on the island of Oahu. He is a 2005 graduate of Kamehameha School and he is currently a junior at the University of Hawai’i at M?noa . He is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and plans to graduate fall 09.  During his free time he likes to ride his sportbike and when he is not riding, he is always fixing it. He also enjoys outdoor activities such as basketball, hiking, volleyball, and football.

Home Island: Oahu
High School: Kamehameha Schools
Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Akamai Project: Air Handler System Model
Project Site: Smithsonian Submillimeter Array (SMA)
Mentor: Billie Chitwood

Project Abstract:

At SMA we currently have a new cooling system, called the Air Handler, installed on 3 of the 8 telescopes. The Air Handler is responsible for keeping the telescope cabin temperature within a few degrees centigrade so that the electronics function efficiently. In order to make sure the new Air Handler hardware will run correctly and to help with debugging the Air Handlers before installing them on the entire array, it was necessary to have a smaller test model of the Air Handler that can be used in the lab. I have designed this test model and a small model of the telescope cabin. The Air Handler consists of two intakes: one draws in cold air from the outside and the other draws warm air from the cabin to recirculate. Each intake has a valve attached to it so when one is open the other is closed. The Air Handler also has a fan that will blow the air into the cabin. To build the model Air Handler and cabin, I modified a 12-gallon shop vac to serve as both the cabin and the fan that draws in air. I also modified a 24×6×6 inch metal box to be the Air Handler, which has two valves mounted on opposite sides near the front of the box and is controlled by two damper motors. At the rear of the box, the shop vac intake is attached. One valve is open to the outside air while the other valve is hooked up to the exhaust of the shop vac. After building the model, it was tested to see if it works the same way as the actual Air Handlers on the SMA telescope. Upon successful completion of this project, SMA will have a small test model for their new Air Handler system that can be used in the lab for testing and debugging.