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ADTRAN in pictures – Part 3 – Physical testing labs

ADTRAN does an insane amount of in-house testing on the devices it builds.  The physical testing that prototype devices undergo is, frankly, mind boggling.  ADTRAN_LAB_Lightening

A peek into the high-voltage (lightening) test lab.   Equipment has to take a couple of good hits from a lightening strike without catching on fire; note the extinguisher at the center of the picture and the nice thick protective glass enclosing the test area.


There’s also a lower-voltage test lab to make sure devices keep on running after taking a couple of minor electrical hits.


It looks pretty boring, but these are vibrational shaker tables.  Apparently there’s a setting that goes up to “earthquake” to make sure devices continue to function after being rattled around.


This two story shiny metal box is the Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) test area — yes, you can ride the sign on the side as well.  ESD runs 16 hours a day and I suspect they probably test drones and missiles for Redstone on the side.


Inside, the lab is one big EM shielded box, with Styrofoam cones laced with iron oxide to absorb radio waves coming from a device under test. The antenna sucks up RF from the device and can identify potential sources of interference.


A close-up of the radar, er radio absorbing cones.


The door to the chamber even has an all-plastic handle — no excess metal allowed.   A device undergoing tests sits on an all-wood table — no nails allowed.


If you can’t stand the heat, you don’t want to be in this room.  High-power lamps effectively cook devices up to 120 degrees — should you happen to leave your telecom gear out in the desert by accident.


Yes, Virginia, they do melt things here.  Note the sagging top.

There are other big boxes scattered throughout the labs that submit test articles to over 90 percent humidity, sustained heat, sustained cold, and various other tortures.

Data collected is used to refine designs and ensure that the products going out the door will live up to the hardware warranty the company provides.

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