Main Lab Building
The Concord Field Station main building contains laboratory and office space (5200 sq. ft.), together with AAALAC accredited animal quarters (1300 sq. ft). Laboratory spaces includes a large general purpose lab for terrestrial locomotion studies, a lab for insect flight studies, an animal surgery suite, and "wet lab" space devoted to in situ muscle research, an electronics lab, and a 3D-printing lab room.
The Concord Field Station houses three treadmills of different sizes. The largest treadmill has an integrated AMTI force plate for measuring vertical forces during limb stance. An second 'obstacle treadmill' allows obstacles of different sizes to be mounted on the treadmill surface to study how animals negotiate uneven terrain when walking and running (Daley & Biewener, Phil Trans Roy Soc B, 2011). Current treadmill projects include: examining pennation angle and muscle gearing in guinea fowl, analyzing turkey limb swing dynamics, analyzing goat kinematics during level and incline walking to improve and evaluate musculoskeletal computer models, and examining in vivo motor recruitment in relation to force and fiber strain for rat hindlimb muscles which can be compared with in situ muscle force and work measurements.
The greenhouse was built when Prof. Combes set up her lab at the Concord Field Station. She studies predator-prey interactions and insect flight biomechanics of dragonflies. Although they are impressive hunters, dragonflies do not adapt well to indoor conditions. The greenhouse provides a comfy environment for the dragonflies, while providing shelter and space for a system of up to 8 high speed cameras.
In a separate CFS building, a large-scale wind tunnel was designed and built for vertebrate flight research, facilitating steady speed experiments on bird and bat flight. It operates at speeds of up to 28 m/s (at < 0.5% turbulence) and has a rectangular flight chamber with a volume of 1.5 cubic meters (1.2x1.2x1.4 m working section). The clear LexanTM working section facilitates high-speed 3D kinematics recording of flight movements and a small port allows recordings of in vivo muscle function during flight.
Video Radiography Facility
The CFS videoradiography facility consists of 2 C-Arms with 12" (30.6 cm) image intensifiers that enable high-speed X-ray movies to be recorded with Photron PCI video cameras at 1 Mpixel/frame. Through use of software algorithms for undistorting the X-ray images and achieving calibrated DLT coefficients, the 2D X-ray images can be combined to provide 3D image analysis of musculoskeletal movements linked to feeding and locomotion. Marker-based videoradiographic methods combined with CT data for skeletal form can be used to reconstruct animations of moving morphology (XROMM). See http://www.xromm.org/
Field Station Grounds
The field station is located in the Town of Bedford on 62 acres of land for studies of flight performance in the field (honey bee and bumble bee foraging, bee hive group dynamics & ruby-throated hummingbird flight), biodiversity, and animal pasture.