K2 conditions in laboratory

Research scientist Hannu Sairanen setting a weather station to the chamber for measurements.

Electronic devices usually work excellently in laboratory conditions. However, the conditions in their real opera-tional environment may drastically differ from laboratory conditions. In order to guarantee, the proper operation of electronic devices in all conditions, they have to be tested in different environmental conditions. At MIKES, a measurement chamber has been constructed in to which even the conditions of K2 (the world’s second highest mountain) can be generated. The temperature, humidity and pressure inside the chamber can be simultaneously and independently changed in wide ranges:–52 °C … +60 °C, 10 %rh … 95 %rh and 500 hPa … 1200 hPa, respectively. A crucial part of the apparatus is reliable and traceable measurement of each quantity.

The diameter of the measurement chamber is 150 mm, volume 7 litres and it is placed inside a larger protective chamber, in order to make temperature control and stabilisation easier. Moreover, the pressure outside the measurement chamber can be kept lower than inside. This reduces the risk that water vapour from ambient air leaks to the chamber, which might affect the humidity value inside the chamber, especially at low temperatures. The operation of the device under study can be monitored by lead-in wires of the apparatus.

The chamber is suitable for studies of the behaviour of different devices and materials in varying environmental conditions and especially well-suited for calibration of devices measuring temperature, pressure and humidity such as weather stations as well as outdoor and sports watches that are rapidly gaining popularity. The apparatus allows to investigate the dependence of the device under study on one quantity while keeping the others at a constant value: a watch at the valley and top of a mountain. The measurement chamber has been thoroughly tested and the measurements are traceable to SI-units, thus the device is ready to serve our customers.

Additional information: Research scientist Hannu Sairanen,
firstname.lastname@vtt.fi, puh. +358 (0)50 443 4109