Facilities and Equipment

Preference chamber

Animal Preference Chambers

We have recently designed and constructed a custom-built environmental preference chamber for measurement of behavioral feedback from poultry and small pigs. The chamber consists of four interconnected compartments and is capable of controlling temperature, relative humidity, and aerial contaminants such as atmospheric ammonia.

Beef chamber

Ruminant Emissions Chambers

We designed, constructed, and validated a specialized ruminant emission measuring system (REMS), that monitors and analyzes methane emissions from beef cattle eructation. Each animal is monitored individually and is monitored semi-continuously. The system consists of six low-positive-pressure polycarbonate metabolism chambers that restrain the animal's head and neck, individual thermal environmental controlled recirculation units for comfortable environment, a gas-sampling multiplexer, an infrared photoacoustic multi-gas analyzer and a custom-designed control and data acquisition system.

ERL chamber

Controlled Environment Chambers

The AWESLab jointly manages and operates four controlled environment chambers at the UIUC Environmental Research Laboratory. Three of the chambers measure approximately 2.29m length x 2.29m height x 1.68m width, and the fourth is slightly larger. Their control ranges are 50 to 110oF for temperature and 20% to 90% for relative humidity.


Instrumentation Fabrication, Calibration, and Maintenance

We maintain and operate a small instrumentation fabrication laboratory, ideal for creating and testing prototyping models of animal and environmental measurement electronics. We maintain a variety of measurement equipment and calibration supplies for environmental assessment and aerial contaminant monitoring.

Environmental Measurement Equipment

  • Photoacoustic Gas Monitor INNOVA 1412 - The LumaSense Photoacoustic Field Gas-Monitor INNOVA 1412 is a highly accurate, reliable and stable quantitative gas monitor. Its measurement principle is based on the photoacoustic infrared detection method. This means that the 1412 can measure almost any gas that absorbs infrared light.
    It can selectively measure the concentration of up to 5 component gases and water vapor in any air sample. Further, it can compensate for interference between the measured field gases, using the unique Cross-compensation feature. The INNOVA 1412's detection limit is field gas-dependent but typically in the 10-2 ppm region.

  • Chemiluminescence NH3 Analyzer - Thermo Environmental Instruments Inc. model 17C NH3 analyzer is designed to detect ranges from 0 to 100ppm NH3 with a lower detectable limit of 1ppb, response time is 10 second average, sample flow rate is 600cc/min and operating temperature is between 15 to 35oC with selectable voltage output and 4-20mA output.

  • Pulsed Fluorescence SO2 Analyzer - Thermo Environmental Instruments Inc. model 43C SO2 analyzer is designated by the USEPA as an equivalent method for the measurement of ambient concentration of H2S. The measurement range is 0-1.0ppm. The average time is 10 to 300 seconds, flow rate is 0.5 to 1.0LPM and operating temperature is between 20-30oC with selectable voltage output.

  • Vaisala Carbon Dioxide Sensor - The GMM 220 Vaisala Carbon Dioxide Sensor is designed to measure carbon dioxide in harsh and demanding applications. Several measurement ranges can be choice. CO2 output is scaled as current between 4-20 mA. Interchangeable probes for easy maintenance.

  • Continuous Ambient Particulate TEOM Monitor - The TEOM Monitor, Series 1400ab, measures PM-10 or PM-2.5 mass concentrations and consists of a TEOM mass sensor and control unit in a network ready configuration. The TEOM 1400ab distinguishes itself from other PM measurement methods by utilizing a direct mass measurement that is not subject to measurement uncertainties found in other surrogate technologies. The TEOM 1400ab provides a self-referencing, NIST traceable direct mass measurement.

Calibration Capabilities

  • Computerized Gas Dilution System - The Environics series 4040 is a computerized gas dilution system that automatically generates precise gas standards for rapid multi-point calibration of analyzer. The gas mixes can be used in generating precise gas calibration standards, creating gaseous atmospheres or producing gas mixes for analytical research or production purposes. The series 4040 can produce gas concentration from percent to ppb levels for single or multi-point calibration at operating temperatures from 0-40oC.

  • Carbon Dioxide Calibrator (Model GM K220, Vaisala Inc., Woburn, MA, USA) - The Vaisala Carbon Dioxide Calibrator GM K220 is designed to perform spot checking and two-point calibration on corresponding carbon dioxide probes. Spot checking requires a single reference gas and is used only to check that the probe is operating correctly. Two-point calibration requires two reference gasses and is able to adjust calibration as necessary.

  • RTDs/Thermistors/Thermocouples Block Calibrator (Model CL134-1, Omega Engineering, Inc., Stamford, CT, USA) - This model calibrates most of the available Thermistors and RTDs in the market owing to its Universal Jaw. A comprehensive temperature range can be used for calibration (-30oC to 500oC), which will cover most of the applications found in complex biological systems.

  • Pyrometer Blackbody Calibrator (Model BB701, Omega Engineering, Inc., Stamford, CT, USA) - Standard infrared emission sources for calibration of surface temperature thermometers (pyrometers).

  • Relative humidity calibrators (Model HMK15-1-1-1-1-B-1-1-B, Vaisala Oyj, Helsinki, Finland) - The RH calibrator can be used with most external-probe Vaisala models and calibrates the full RH% range based on four different reference salt solutions.

  • Refrigerated/Heated Circulating Bath (Model PolyScience EW12117-70, Cole-Parmer, Illinois, USA) - High stable temperature water bath for accurate humidity interference compensation during calibration.

University of Illinois facility