​Cobham RAD Europe offers radiation testing services for space, nuclear and industrial customers. Based at Harwell, Cobham RAD Europe offers a radiation testing capability unmatched in the UK for assessing the effects of ionising radiation on materials and components for use in the challenging environment of space. The process typically involves building a test and measurement system around a customer’s samples in order to derive data on their performance before, during and after exposure to radiation, thus providing the data needed to complete the design and qualify products for space.
​Cobham operates its own gamma irradiation facility for total dose testing and undertakes frequent tests in other facilities, e.g. for single event effects and electron or neutron testing. Offering a data acquisition service, as well as basic irradiation, means Cobham can help customers understand the radiation-induced changes that take place. This knowledge can be used to assess equipment designs before testing so as to improve the chances of the test being successful. The synergistic effect of irradiation and other factors can lead to more rapid degradation than the sum of the individual effects would indicate. Hence, the Company also offers the possibility to irradiate in a range of gaseous environments and vacuum, with heating or cooling, with or without electrical stress and, for example with solar cells, under illumination.
​One of our recently launched products is SEREEL2, a laser single event effects test system that enables such testing to be done in your lab, rather than at a large particle accelerator. This significantly reduces the time to market and lowers the cost and timescale of testing. In the context of ‘new space’ missions, it is now affordable to screen for vulnerabilities to destructive effects for even the lowest cost missions. It is hoped to make a SEREEL2 system available for short-term use at Harwell during 2020.