Mirror Etiquette - Look, don't touch, reflect on that

An important aspect of the chamber's ability to simulate an overcast sky is the large expanse of continuous mirrored surface within the box. The mirrored surfaces are actually made of acrylic plastic rather than glass and are extremely susceptible to marring, nicking and scratching. Users must take great care to NEVER touch the mirrored surfaces, either intentionally or unintentionally. This requires a constant awareness of the user's position in the chamber as it is a close-quarters environment. Never attempt to clean or remove a discovered smudge or foreign object from the mirror surface. Instead, report the issue immediately to the Lab Assistant.

Placing the Model - Finding your center

Photo model at the center of table.

For best performance of the artificial sky the model's daylighting apertures should be centered in the chamber as much as is possible. If the model is of a skylight-only scheme, the model and skylights should be centered in the chamber. If the model to be tested has only one vertical wall aperture, the model may be placed with that vertical wall at the center of the chamber. If there are daylighting apertures on multiple surfaces facing multiple directions the model should simply be centered in the chamber. The table that holds the model and instruments has wheels that allow minor movements within the chamber if necessary. ALWAYS ask the Lab Attendant for assistance in moving the table. It is not necessary to rotate the model as the mirror box artificial sky has no orientation and simulates an overcast sky that is uniform in all compass directions.

Table Height Adjustment - What's that on the horizon?


Incorrect alignment of horizon.

For proper measurements, it is important that the horizon plane of the model match the horizon height of the sky chamber. Because model construction techniques and model base heights vary from project to project, the model table has a height adjustment that will allow alignment of the model horizon with the sky horizon. Rotating the wheel handle will raise and lower the table surface. ALWAYS ask the Lab Attendant for assistance in adjusting the table height.

Correct alignment of horizon.







 Placing the Sensors - Have you ever surgically installed a pacemaker?

Place sensor in model through a portal.

Once the model is in position on the table, the sensors should be placed. Sensor 1 is reserved for use OUTSIDE of the model. It should be placed either on the roof of the model with no obstructions around it in any direction or on a custom constructed stand that elevates the sensors above any surrounding obstructions from the model. The remaining sensors numbered 2 through 10 should be used as needed for interior measurements from within the model. The sensor wires are loosely wrapped around knobs mounted to the model stand.

Many sensors placed inside of model.

Carefully unwrap only as much wire as is needed to place the sensor in its desired location and route the wire out of the model. NEVER place the wire under stress by pulling it tight, by wrapping it around an object, or by pinching or bending it through tight locations or turns. Stressing the wire in this manner can damage the measurement equipment and leave a "memory" bend in the wire that can make future use of the sensor difficult or impossible. Remember to accommodate the movement of the sensors with the wire if the sensors will be relocated during testing. Please refer to the section above on Sensor/Wire Management for more details.