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Instrument Development Services

Man look through microscope working with hardware.


Instrument Development Services builds custom scientific or technical equipment and provides engineering design and development, consulting services and short-run production.



  102B and 119 Elvey Building 
 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Chaparral Physics

Chaparral Physics produces infrasound sensors that combine rugged construction with wide bandwidth and low noise to ensure accurate measurements in the most demanding of environments. The model 50A sensor is ideal for stringent applications such as nuclear test ban monitoring. It provides exceptionally low noise at very low frequencies and is inherently insensitive to vibration and seismic activity.

Our new and expanding line of cost effective, miniaturized, MEMs-based sensors allow the measurement of infrasound in applications where it was not previously practical. We are excited to announce production of the model 60 and model 64 “S” series of sensors. They have a very low self-noise of -75dB with respect to 1 Pa^2/Hz, measured at 1Hz. An entire four-element array of these sensors will fit inside a standard book bag, making them ideal for temporary deployments in remote locations. All model 60 and model 64 sensors feature superb linearity, low temperature sensitivity, and low seismic sensitivity.

Learn about our products:


Electronics Shop

The Geophysical Institute Electronics Shop can engineer, design, construct, calibrate, test and repair a wide range of scientific and technical instruments. A team of shop personnel maintain and repair computers, computer terminals, data acquisition systems and RF communications equipment.

Electronics Shop services available include analog and digital circuit design, prototyping and production, simulation, software and firmware design, environmental testing, fiberglass and carbon fabrication and printed circuit board design.

Electronics Shop specialists have the necessary skills to install, operate and repair a wide variety of electronic field equipment as required for scientific projects. Shop technicians have the experience necessary to install and operate remote telemetered systems in Arctic environments.


Machine Shop

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute has relied on professional machinists to fabricate specialized equipment for scientific studies since the institute’s inception in 1949. The Machine Shop operates as a service center for scientists, researchers and graduate students. The shop’s main function is to fabricate devices, machines or equipment that researchers cannot buy off the shelf. The Machine Shop staff have the skill sets, equipment, software and resources necessary to accomplish these tasks. 

Machine Shop capabilities include complete fabrication and assembly, repair of mechanical equipment, 3D printing and computer-aided design and manufacture.

Services available include:

  • Engineering design and development
  • Expert consultation
  • CAD and CAM (computer-aided machining) software
  • On-site, on-hand general hardware, materials and supplies
  • Rapid response for small projects, emergency repairs or adjustments
  • Carpentry and cabinet-making
  • Welding (TIG, MIG, Heli-arc and arc), soldering and brazing
  • Stock of commonly used materials (steels, plastics, aluminum, brass, copper)
  • Mechanical equipment repair and evaluation
  • Manual machining (milling machine, lathe, surface grinder, drill press and more)
  • CNC (computer numerical control) machining
  • 3D printing (additive fabrication)