Principal Electrical Engineer
Real time control systems, undersea instrumentation, motion control, and autonomous systems
Eric McRae is responsible for electronic and software design of the vertical mooring and shallow profiler systems for the OOI RSN project . He also provides electrical engineering support for the RSN shore station in Pacific City, OR. Graduating from Michigan State University with B.S. High Honors and M.S. Honors degrees in Electrical Engineering, he entered a long career in embedded software and hardware design. Eric worked for several well known electronics companies until 1991, when he launched his own embedded systems engineering company. From that base, he delivered engine control for Ford vehicles, earth and space bound aircraft software, medical devices, and supercomputer power and cooling control systems. An avid diver and marine science enthusiast, he volunteered for the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and the OrcaSound Hydrophone network. He has mentored student groups building competition ROVs and a group developing a real science exploration ROV for PNNL. He joined APL-UW in 2011 to work on RSN and enjoys the high caliber of scientists and engineers who collaborate on the project. Eric is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
B.S. Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University, 1975
M.S. Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University, 1980
2000-present and while at APL-UW
Deep trouble! Common problems for ocean observatories
Howe, B. M., and E. McRae, "Deep trouble! Common problems for ocean observatories," Eos, 98, https://doi.org/10.1029/2017EO073657, 2017.
22 May 2017
Science observation of the ocean is difficult. The cost to repair or replace a failed device can run many orders of magnitude higher than the base component cost.
Continuous real time scanning of the upper ocean water column
McRae, E., "Continuous real time scanning of the upper ocean water column," Proc., MTS/IEEE OCEANS Conference, 19-23 September, Monterey, CA, doi:10.1109/OCEANS.2016.7761359 (IEEE, 2016).
1 Dec 2016
The Cabled Array portion of the National Science Foundation funded Ocean Observatories Initiative is a large scale, high bandwidth and high power subsea science network developed by the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory. Part of that system is a set of moorings and winched profilers which continuously scan the upper 200m of the ocean at their deployment sites. The profilers have been in operation since July 2014 and have accumulated a significant performance record. The general design approach, performance results and lessons learned are described.
In The News
Beneath the Surface
The Daily, Kirsten Allen
Imagine having a collection of all the data on the ocean at your fingertips. The Regional Scale Nodes (RSN), a project that was conceived in the late 1980s, can make this happen.
30 Apr 2014
Ocean Observatories Initiative Profilers Enable New Generation of Research Below the Surface
The Environmental Monitor, Daniel Kelly
Nearly three-quarters of Earth is covered by ocean water, yet only 5 percent of what is beneath the shimmering blue waves has been explored. The dearth of information isn't because of an apathetic scientific community. Until a few years ago, technology needed for leaps and bounds in ocean exploration didn't exist. And the large, fickle oceans have a way of complicating research efforts.
8 Apr 2014
Tethered robots tested for Internet-connected ocean observatory
UW News and Information, Hannah Hickey
A massive digital ocean observatory will include a new generation of ocean explorers: robots that will zoom up and down through almost two miles of ocean to monitor the water conditions and marine life above. Scientists, engineers and students will be at sea from July to October 2014 to finish installation of the high-tech facility, which will be the world%u2019s largest Internet-connected ocean observatory.
13 Mar 2014