WeatherFlow January Update
Hello WeatherFlow Backers.
Our Product Lead, David St. John, is in Shenzhen as we speak working with our factory team to produce a few hundred final SKY devices prior to the Chinese New Year.
We are making measurable progress every day and the end is in sight. Here are some of the technical challenges and how we are solving:
Calibration. Goal = reliable calibration and QA process in less than 10 minutes per device. The previous SKY design iteration included a 5deg slope on the sonic reflector plate to help shed water. Turns out the conical shape of the reflector causes sonic dissonance making calibration very tedious. Our revised design uses a 0deg reflector which yields far more consistent results and a dramatic reduction in variance across devices. We also engineered a new way to align and apply the vibration-sensing piezo in the haptic rain sensor to alleviate a calibration step on the production line.
Rain. Goal = detect the lightest rain possible while rejecting 99% of false positives. Using data from field testing, we’re now able to detect the differences in signals between rain and curious avian visitors (aka: birds). As algorithms are tuned to suppress false rain signals, we are able to continuously increase the sensitivity and accuracy of the rain sensor over time.
Wind. Goal = automatically detect and correct suspicious data. One challenge we saw in field testing was skewed wind data during heavy rain caused by water droplets in the sonic path (common with all sonic anemometers). To address, our engineers are devising algorithms to detect and suppress the droplet-skewed data dynamically. In addition, we’ve been experimenting with hydrophilic Titanium Dioxide photocatalytic coatings to eliminate water beading — Google it, it’s kinda cool.
Sun. We made the decision to upgrade to a new Broadcom UV / Ambient light sensor and results are much improved. The new sensor also allows us to use solid teflon instead of clear plastic for the lens which will last much longer in harsh sun.
We’re busting our tails to produce a few hundred production SKY devices prior to the Chinese New Year, then resume full-scale production after the Chinese holiday. We are keenly aware that you are eager to receive your complete weather station, and we’re just as eager to deliver a quality product.
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