Computer Lab Automation

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^Fred B. Stephens,'William F. Morris, 7 George W. Barton, Jr., and Eugene R. Fisher

February 9, 1978
Work performed under ths auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the UCLLL under contract number W-7Jo5-ENG-48.




Distribution Category UC-11

University of CakfaTiia/Livetmore, CaHfomie^/94550


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FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR COMPUTERIZED AUTOMATION OF EPA REGION II TECHNICAL SUPPORT BRANCH Fred B. Stephens, William F. Morris, George W. Barton, Jr., and Eugene R. Fisher MS date: February 9, 1978

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Abstract . . .'•:•.-. ; 1 Introduction 1 Mission of Region II I How Region II Fulfills Its-Mission 2 Planning . 2 Preliminary Reconnaissance , 3 Field Work 3 Laboratory Work, Data, and Reports 3 Function of the Technical Support Branch . . 3 Analyses 3 Division of Responsibility 4 Information and Data Flow, Chain of Custody, Records, and Reports 4 Approaches to Automation 4 Scope and Constraints : 4 Goals of the Technical Support Branch 5 Instruments for Automation 5 Instruments Selected for Automation 7 The Study Plan, Job Scheduling, Coordination, and Automation of Sample Management Activities 7 Proposed Systems for Fulfilling the Requirements of the Technical Support Branch Laboratory 9 Option 1 . .' 11 Option 2 11 Option 3 U Cost-Benefit Analysis : . . . . . . 11 Introduction 11 Basis for the Analysis II Comparison of Costs and Benefits 11 Costs and Benefits Relative to Payout Time and System Life 13 Summary of the Cost-Benefit Study 13 References 14 Appendix A. Description of the Proposed Optional Automation Systems 15 Option 1: Standard EPA Automation System — Data General Computer 15 Computer and Peripherals 15 Laboratory-Instrument Interfaces 16 Software 17 Option 2: Standard EPA System with Communication to a PDP-11 SFC 17 Option 3: Laboratory Automation Using a PDP-11 with Communication to a PDP-11 for SFC 18 Appendix B. Details of One-Time Costs for Three Systems 19 Computer and Peripherals 19 Terminals 19 Sinch. Because each study or survey may be different, much effort is needed to set up and equip the laboratory and schedule the required survey tests. For example, when the Technical Sup­ port Branch field team arrives at the study site, they will set up the mobile laboratory, prepare reagents and glassware, and run preliminary standard tests

to be certain that the methods and instruments are functioning properly. Region II maintains one Mobile Laboratory at Edison and one at Rochester ',hat are used on-site to monitor bacteriological changes, biological oxygen demand, pH, total suspended solids, and other time-sensitive tests. There is also an Air Mobile Laboratory at Edison containing instruments for the analysis of S 0 , NO>, oxidants, methane and nonmethane hydrocar­ bons, CO, and a tape sampler for particulates in air. The data is collected on a Wang 600 and reduced from the tape on a second Wang 600 for printout of hourly averages and other data on a typewriter. 2

Laboratory Work, Data, and Reports Field data is entered on the Field Data Sheet, which corresponds to a laboratory number attached to the test sample. Sample numbers are matched against the descriptors and parameters in the field, on receipt at the laboratory, and by each analyst. Preliminary reports are issued to the...
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