Long-term Instrument Loans


Posted: 2006 Aug 25.

During 2005, approximately 50 RT72-A data loggers that are no longer used in PASSCAL experiments were sent to RefTek to be refurbished. In some cases by cannibalizing parts from another unit, RefTek returned approximately 35 of them in good working order. The instruments meet performance standards, but are at high risk of damage when shipped, and so are appropriate only for permanent installation. Most of the instruments from that initial refurbishment effort have been loaned to the AfricaArray Project.

A total of approximately 600 retired RT72-A's remain at the PASSCAL Instrument Center, and it is expected that at least 200 usable instruments can be created through refurbishment. From funds available near the end of IRIS's financial year ending in June 2006, the Board of Directors authorized $50,000 to be used for refurbishing further RT72-A's. Retired data loggers that cannot be refurbished within this budget will be held at the Instrument Center, pending a decision on their use.

The Board of Directors asked the Planning Committee to design an instrument loan initiative that contributes to IRIS's strategic objectives. The Board accepted the Committee's suggested criteria for selecting projects to receive instrument loans, but the Board of Directors will make decisions about loan applications based partly on recommendations from an evaluation group comprised of

  • Two members of the Planning Committee (Randy Keller, Andy Nyblade)
  • One member of the PASSCAL Standing Committee (Stephane Rondenay)
  • One member of the DMS Standing Committee (to be named)
  • One staff member from the IRIS President's Office (Ray Willemann)
  • One staff member from the PASSCAL Instrument Center (Jim Fowler)
  • One staff member from the Data Management Center (Tim Ahern)

The initiative to loan retired IRIS instruments on a long-term basis was anounced

  • at the IRIS Workshop in June 2006,
  • On the IRIS web site, shortly after the Workshop,
  • in an IRIS bulk e-mail distributed after the Workshop,
  • in brochures that were distributed to all IRIS Foreign, Educational and US Affiliates.

Expressions of interest had been received from approximately twelve institutions through late August.