Mass Properties and Structural Test Facility
21 Mar 2018



Airbus DS Stevenage has comprehensive facilities for measurement of mass properties and structural testing.



Airbus DS Stevenage has comprehensive facilities for measurement of mass properties, including mass, centre-of-mass and moment-of-inertia. In its Structural Test Facility, it is has 3 structural test beds able to conduct qualification and proof-loading tests of spacecraft using precisely controlled load applications up to 600kN with dynamic and static data logging of displacement measurements on up to 100 channels.​
​Our Stevenage Structural Test facility has over 60 years of experience in structural, component and fatigue testing. We offer a complete range of design, development, test and analysis services that can be adapted to suit your needs:

  • Static testing for qualification and verification of structural integrity
  • Proof testing of Mechanical Ground Support Equipment (MGSE)
  • Shock and deployment testing of spacecraft mechanisms, including pyrotechnic initiation and release
  • Proof testing of production articles
  • Support investigations and developments
  • Design, stress and development of test set ups specific to user requirements
  • Our Test rigs are a combination of modular and bespoke installations providing flexibility
  • Load control and data acquisition system with an additional, programmable, closed loop safety interlock
​The Stevenage Structural Test Facility is in a self-contained building with a 750m² floor area. Facility maximum working height is 5.3m head height with multiple 5 tonne cranes and up to 4 tonne fork lift trucks to aid movement and assembly.

Three test beds with matrix bolt down facility:
  • L= 6 m x W= 6 m
  • L= 5 m x W= 4 m
  • L= 4 m x W= 3 m

  • Fluid power distribution system to provide up to 3000 PSI (210 bar) 75 Litres per minute
  • Dead weight testing up to 6500 kg
  • Multiple data logging systems capable of 2400 Hz scans per channel. 300 channels per system available
  • (expandable if required)
  • Electronic load control system
  • Load application and synchronisation of up to 24 channels (expandable on request)
  • Load application of up to 600 kN
  • Load measurement range from 50 N to 600 kN
  • Capable of measuring various transducers not limited to but include:
    • Displacement measurement 20 μm to 1 m
    • Temperature measurement
    • Pressure transducers
    • Strain gauges
    • Load measurement
Load Application and Control

Load application for the simplest of tests can be achieved using a set of certified dead weights up to 6500Kg. For more complex testing with a greater need for control at each load step Stevenage Structural Test facility deploys a closed loop servo controlled test system.

The SmarTEST controller is an advanced and flexible system. Stevenage Structural Test facility currently has two SmarTEST systems able to control 24 and 32 Channels, the systems link directly with the DATA Acquisition system HBM. Servo control valves are mounted on Load Limiting Manifolds that give another level of protection and safety for the test article.

Current Actuators and load cell combinations can safely and effectively control loads of between 200N – 200kN using the automated load control system, and 50N – 600kN using hand pumps, monitored with the Quantum X DAQ system.
Customer Suite

  • Able to view test as it is taking place
  • Monitor test load application progress and data
  • Logging
  • Meeting facility with external network connection