Test Facilities

We manage a wide range of world-class facilities, from a 5m Wind Tunnel to a Night Vision Test House.

Some facilities, such as the Environmental Test Facility, can be used across multiple domains, to test anything from trucks to trains. These facilities, combined with the expertise of our people, provide an unrivalled service for our customers. 

Environmental Test Facility

The Environmental Test Facility is widely used by a variety of military and commercial organisations to simulate the extreme conditions that equipment must be able to operationally withstand.

Extreme environmental conditions are simulated in two insulated chambers with the capacity to test systems such as aircraft, trains, trucks, battle tanks, boats, helicopters, commercial vehicles, generators, communications equipment and test rigs. It benefits from fully controlled conditions with the flexibility to test a variety of systems, while monitoring the crew operating the equipment.

These facilities allow assessment of human performance in extreme environmental conditions, effectiveness of protective clothing and equipment, and research to understand the thermal stress associated with worn and carried equipment.

Features include:

  • Controlled conditions between +70°c and -70°c
  • Full humidity control
  • Ability to achieve 95 ± 5% relative humidity at +40°c
  • Simulates the heating effect of the sun by using solar arrays
  • Arctic weather clothing supplied
  • Fume extraction
  • Layers of ice can be applied in the chamber
  • Infrared system with controlled intensity of up to 1120W/m2
  • Two chambers: the first is 24.5m x 25m x 5.4m high with a 6.75m high recess (suitable for aircraft fins); the second is 7.5m x 4.0m x 5.0m high
  • 200 channel real time graphical data logging system

 

5m Wind Tunnel

Landing and take-off performance is of critical importance for both military and civil aircraft, which is why our high Reynolds number facility provides simulation capability that is unique in the UK and provides high quality data for the investigation of flow physics and the prediction of full-scale performance.

Features include:

  • Accurate modelling, high productivity and versatility
  • Simulation of full-scale conditions for take-off and landing for 1/3 scale models
  • Segregation of compressibility and scale effects for more accurate prediction of full-scale performance
  • Test section size of 5m x 4.2m
  • Drive power of 12 MW
  • Turbulence level: u1 ≈ 0.08%
  • Maximum Speed Mach No 0.34
  • Maximum Pressure 3 atmospheres
  • Testing techniques include Force-Measurement, Pressure-Measurement, Flow-Visualisation, Ground-Plane Simulation, Particle Image Velocimetry
  • Balance Calibration Machine
  • Data Acquisition to suit customer requirements
  • Rapid model changeovers enabled through interchangeable cart-mounted models
  • Two underfloor balances with a rotating turntable
  • Rear sting support with a range of six component strain-gauge balances

 

Flight Physiological Centre

The Flight Physiological Centre in Linköping is managed and operated by QinetiQ Sweden AB on behalf of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). We offer a self-contained centre providing world-class training, research, and test and evaluation facilities.

Part of the aviation training, testing and research establishment located at Malmen, southern Sweden, the Centre provides facilities including:

  • Dynamic Flight Simulator (that combines a Human Centrifuge and Flight Simulator)
  • Hypobaric Decompression Chamber
  • Hyperbaric Chamber
  • Test and Survival Pool

Features include:

  • The Dynamic Flight Simulator has an active gondola and is used for G-force familiarisation for aircrew along with the Test and Evaluation of equipment and medical research. It is capable of replicating G conditions of next-generation fighters up to a maximum 15G with an onset rate up to 10g.s-1
  • The chambers are suitable for equipment testing and training of both military and civilian personnel, with a maximum altitude of over 35,000m
  • The pool can recreate adverse weather conditions and is used for survival training and equipment testing with a depth of 3.6m and a volume of 48m3. The environment is fully controlled; water temperature is controllable between 4-40 C and environmental effects can be generated (including waves, strong winds, heavy rain and lightning) to fully simulate the challenging conditions that occur during sea survival and rescue
  • Additional facilities include a range of briefing, treatment and changing rooms, restaurant, plus state-of-the-art data and recording equipment

 

Night Vision Systems Test House

The Night Vision Systems Test House provides a safe and controlled, spectrally correct environment for electro-optic assessments of systems in a variety of aircraft.

The facility offers a wide range of cost-effective and repeatable ground tests in various ambient illuminations and conditions.

Our expertise and capabilities in the Night Vision Test House allow us to examine:

  • Night Vision Goggle range determination
  • Night Vision Goggle visual range calculations
  • Reflections
  • Lighting compliance with MIL-STD-3009
  • Night Vision Goggle checks
  • Cultural lighting
  • Thermal imaging measurement

Features include:

  • 36m x 22m x 8m Hardened Aircraft Shelter
  • Capable of housing small fixed wing, rotary and fast jet aircraft
  • All sources of external light are excluded for blackout conditions
  • Can produce calibrated and controlled night sky illumination from overcast starlight at 3.9 x 10-4 NVIS Radiance, to full moon light conditions at 15.0 x 10E-2 NVIS Radiance
  • NightSky projector emits spectrally correct light for overcast starlight and low light conditions
  • Apex Moon enables the reproduction of a large number of representative skies
  • Horizon Moon simulates low level elevation moonlight

 

Hypobaric Facility

The Hypobaric Facility, also known as the altitude chamber, is one of the largest and most capable in Europe. The facility enables assessment of human performance at altitude and the testing of aircraft oxygen life support systems and equipment.

Our Hypobaric Chamber can precisely simulate the cabin altitudes of all types of military and commercial aircraft, including gradual or rapid loss of cabin pressure.

Typically the chamber is used to assess the effectiveness of aircraft life support systems using both manned and unmanned tests. It is also used for aeromedical research and aircrew training.

Features include:

  • A 70 kPa pressure change can be conducted in less than 0.1 second, equating to a decompression from 8,000ft to 65,000ft
  • Controlled by highly experienced pressure chamber operators and specialist medical staff
  • Supply of oxygen for breathing
  • Compressed air supply for the inflation of aircrew protective clothing
  • Intercom system for communication between occupants and operators
  • Video system enables monitoring and recording of all studies
  • Instrumentation ports pass through the Chamber walls
  • Three compartments, the largest holding up to eight people
  • Simulates altitudes in excess of 100,000ft
  • Variety of rapid decompression profiles are available
  • Observation windows
  • Air-conditioned

In support of the Hypobaric Chamber, the two chamber Hyperbaric Chamber is on standby should a requirement arise to carry out emergency compression of subjects suffering from acute decompression illness. It has a supply of breathing oxygen for occupants and includes an intercom to allow communication between the subject in the chamber and the operators outside. An instrumentation port passes through the wall, allowing for atmospheric monitoring of the Chamber.

Specifications include:

  • 1900mm internal diameter
  • 2300mm main compartment
  • 1040mm Man Lock compartment
  • Capable of achieving a pressure equivalent to 50 metres of seawater
  • Holds up to five people

 

Anechoic Test Facility

The Anechoic Test Facility is a versatile test environment offering research & development opportunities for a range of aircraft, vehicles and systems.

Its novel elliptical design works effectively over a wide range of frequencies to meet varied test requirements. Offering scientifically repeatable testing of military and commercial systems under controlled conditions, we’re supported by our expert servicing engineers. The building’s unique construction ensures that extraneous Radio Frequency emissions do not interfere with test results, while the Radio Frequency isolation ensures accuracy of results.

Typical capabilities include:

  • Electronic warfare system testing
  • Interoperability of equipment on single platform
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Sensitivity measurements
  • Mobile complex signal generation
  • GPS system testing
  • Radio Frequency emissions measurement

Benefits of the Anechoic Test Facility include:

  • A versatile, secure and effective solution
  • Accommodates a vast range of platforms and systems
  • Interlocks on all access doors, intercom, CCTV monitoring and fume extraction
  • Radio Frequency isolated
  • Penetration panels for cable routing
  • Filters on all electrical cables
  • Antechamber for preparation

Additional features include:

  • Characterised testing between 500MHz and 18GHz
  • 31m x 17.5m x 7.6m lozenge-shaped secure environment
  • Isolation ranging between >60dB and >90dB
  • RAM Power handling 1150W/m2, with an air cooled target area capable of 12kW/m2

 

Avionic Rigs

The Avionic Rigs offer the test and evaluation of operational flight programme software and new or updated avionics, weapon and sensor systems integration. We also offer Aircrew familiarisation, assessment of human factors, testing of safety critical functionality and fault finding of trials aircraft.

We run a Tornado Gr4 Avionic Systems Rig (TASR) that significantly reduces the need for flight test, resulting in reduced programme risk, cost and time. It also allows our customers to be involved in and influence the system development and test phases while gaining familiarity with new systems and flight programmes.

Features include:

  • Ability to record and video data signals in real time
  • Cockpit area
  • Avionic Weapons systems benches
  • Simulation systems
  • Synthetic sensor outputs of primary system parameters such as airspeed and altitude
  • Capability to connect and interface with any weapons, sensors and other role equipment via ‘real’ Aircraft Stores Interfaces (ASI points)
  • Adjoining LASER safe room

 

Radio Frequency Environment Generator

The Radio Frequency Environment Generator is an open area test site capable of high power radiated susceptibility testing over a wide frequency range, able to accommodate large systems, such as civil airliners and large transport aircraft.

Services include complete evaluation and test activity, system review and test design conduct, data analysis and reporting.

Electromagnetic compatibility testing is conducted in a safe and secure environment by a dedicated team of experienced personnel.

Features include:

  • Microwave Radiation Testing, VHF Testing, UHF Testing, HF Testing, System Malfunction Monitoring, Electro-Explosive Device (EED) Testing and Modulation
  • Testing is conducted from 5MHz to 35GHz
  • 120 licensed frequencies are available
  • Fully automated test equipment under software control for rapid re-configuration and test conduct
  • Testing under engine running conditions
  • Radiated testing covering the HF, VHF, UHF and microwave frequency bands
  • Dedicated test monitoring station and control room
  • Rigorous safety procedures include CCTV and strict personnel control
  • Crew rooms and facilities for support personnel
  • Storage of test systems

 

Radio Trials Centre

The Radio Trials Centre (RADEX) offers a wide range of measurement capabilities supported by onsite expertise in radio systems to meet test requirements, de-risk projects and offer cost saving benefits.

Our capabilities include ground and airborne testing of aircraft communications, radio navigation, radar, electronic warfare and other Radio Frequency based systems. We offer a full suite of communications systems that delivers the flexibility to support your requirements and equipment.

Features include:

  • Automated and calibrated measurements suite covering 2MHz to 18GHz
  • Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogation and measurement system covering all current military modes
  • 200 nautical miles of calibrated airspace for trials aircraft
  • Mobile measurement facility for remote site
  • Off-air management system – RADAS (RADEX Automated Data Acquisition System)
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Testing of Complete Aircraft Systems
  • Antenna modelling software – two software applications available to compute the radiation pattern of antenna mounted on a variety of structures
  • Frequency Agile, including HAVE QUICK and SATURN with coordinated Universal Time (UTC) synchronisation
  • Playback of voice communication recordings during flight trials

 

Structural Analysis Laboratories

Through the application of leading technology and world-class expertise we offer a range of services and technical support for the integrity of aircraft structural systems, incident investigation and airworthiness.

With comprehensive facilities including an engineering laboratory, optical and scanning electron microscopes, paint application and environmental test laboratories, we primarily work with leading aircraft manufacturers, but also offer services for all types of materials and engineering issues.

Services include:

  • Experts in metallurgy, engineering, materials, corrosion, paints and chemicals
  • Fatigue monitoring
  • Interpretation of structural certification
  • Qualification testing and analysis
  • Assessment of fatigue damage and environmental degradation
  • Advice on the appropriateness of methods for structural usage monitoring and fatigue damage accumulation
  • Software tailored to specific programme needs
  • Structural performance assessment for new aircraft specifications
  • Independent and impartial advice
  • Forensic investigations to identify how and why a component degraded or failed
  • Advise on how materials can be protected
  • Assistance in material selection, quality assurance and process standards
  • State-of-the-art microscopy facilities