Since Ayyeka’s Wavelet devices are sometimes placed in extreme weather conditions, our engineering team needs to know and have absolute proof that the device can withstand certain conditions. Our Wavelet devices have an IP68 (and NEMA 6P for US standards) Waterproof certification, a standard set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This standard means that Ayyeka’s Wavelet device can be submerged up to approximately 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) deep in water for up to 30 minutes without a single malfunction. But how do we know that this is the case? How do we test for this? Nir Ben David, Ayyeka’s Director of Engineering, explains this in detail.
The testing process
“First of all, you have to test that the device works after installing the software,” says Nir. “We put our devices through countless tests, making sure that all of the sensors are intact when submerged. We check that the GPS and data works, and that the device continues to give accurate readings under water.”
Next is the most interesting part: testing for leaks/water tightness. We have a fascinating piece of equipment in our lab that is used to check for leaks, called a vacuum water pressure leak tester”.
The machine works as follows.First, you put the Wavelet device inside the cylinder, and close it. Then, you increase the pressure in the cylinder. You increase the pressure to around 2 bar (29 psi).This is the pressure water would be exerting on the device if it were submerged 67 feet (20.5 meters) deep. We always want to give more pressure than the bare minimum, in order to ensure that the device will function at the stated level. This allows for what is called a “factor of safety”.
The final step
The next step is to submerge the entire Wavelet device. At this point, you release the pressure in the cylinder, slowly. As the pressure reduces, air expands, and the engineering team can see if any leaks are present. If there is a single bubble coming out from the device, then there is a leak, and the device must be tested again later.
The last Wavelet device that we tested had no air bubbles emerging from the device. This meant that it was ready to go to storage. All of the components worked underwater, and the device passed our very rigorous leak test. The Wavelet now has an IP68 waterproof certification, and is ready to be installed in the field!”