UK Space Facilities
Industrial Space Test Facilities
Propulsion Test Centres
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page explains what they are, which ones we use, and how you can manage or remove them. —
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All Organisations A-Z
All Organisations A-Z
3C Test Ltd
3C Test has become one the UK leading EMC test houses and fully intends to maintain that position. It can provide a comprehensive EMC testing service at unit or subsystem level.
ABSL has a World-class suite of design, build and testing facilities for cell screening, matching and acceptance testing for the production of space-qualified Lithium-ion batteries.
Advanced Forming Research Centre – University of Strathclyde
Full details of services and equipment may be found on the AFRC website, and a pdf brochure is available with full equipment details.
Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre
The AMRC of the University of Sheffield is one of the 7 institutes of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Businesses can work with AMRC on a one-off project or join as a member for long-term collaboration.
Airborne Engineering Ltd
Airborne Engineering Ltd is a UK company based at Westcott Venture Park in Buckinghamshire, site of the former Rocket Propulsion Establishment (RPE Westcott) and its staff have over 70 years combined experience in rocket systems design and testing.
Airbus Defence & Space – Portsmouth Site
The Airbus Portsmouth site has a very extensive range of space development and test facilities which effectively constitute a one-stop-shop for many of its own programmes.
Airbus DS Stevenage
The Airbus Stevenage site has an extensive range of space development and test facilities which effectively constitute a one-stop-shop for many of its own programmes.
Aircraft Research Association - Bedford
ARA are able to offer high quality facilities, technologies, and testing solutions in support of high-velocity aerodynamics of space vehicles.
AVS conceives and develops high-value mechanisms, instruments and robotics for high-value Space missions. AVS is also developing its own catalogue of Space products for IOS, mechanisms, propulsion systems and thermal devices.
Borwell is an innovative and growing UK secure software business which has now expanded into the space sector. Agile teams are focused on creating software solutions and systems integration services for customers in the UK, Europe and internationally.
British Geological Survey, NERC: Herstmonceux Geodetic Observatory
The Herstmonceux Geodetic Observatory features a number of state of the art satellite tracking, atmospheric sensing and gravity measuring sensors. Many of its observations are made freely and rapidly available to the global community.
The AIG has excellent facilities, potentially available to external users. AIG has significant experience of collaboration with industry and research institutions in the UK and abroad.
Centre for Process Innovation
CPI project teams work closely with organisations to understand distinct requirements and to create a custom and systematic stage-gated process to inform development routes and commercialisation models.
City university hosts a number of wind tunnel facilities under the banner of the National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF). They include a low-turbulence wind tunnel and a transonic facility.
Clyde Space’s in-house facilities are fully committed to its own extensive manufacturing and test programmes and so the company does not offer stand-alone testing services, instead primarily offering these as subsets of larger programmes.
Cobham RAD Europe is a business unit of Cobham plc, structurally within the Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions division which produces a wide range of space and defence hardware, including radiation hard components, antennas and actuators.
Commercial Data and Compute (Cloud) Services
Cloud services in principle allow access to virtually limitless computing resources, which scale with cost. Provided the architecture fits the proposed application and data management requirements, the cloud resources can grow with need, avoiding concerns
Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult
The CSA Catapult's purpose is to deliver long-term benefits to the UK economy and accelerate UK economic growth in industries where applying compound semiconductors creates a competitive advantage and enables new products or end markets.
Coventry University Wind Tunnels
The University Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing has 3 primary wind tunnel facilities. These are the Mercedes Petronas low speed wind tunnel, TeQuipment AF100 wind tunnel, and the TeQuipment AF80 smoke wind tunnel.
Cranfield expects to continue using a mix of its own facilities and specialist facilities at other organisations, since collaborations bring benefits to both partners.
Deimos UK - Harwell
Deimos currently has no plans to develop new facilities in the UK, but there is a possibility that future Deimos spacecraft assembled and integrated outside the UK could be environmentally tested in the UK on the Harwell site.
Durham University has a long track record of working with space facilities and space data. Manufacture, integration and test facilities for space instruments and optics are available for collaborative use by industry and research organisations.
Element Materials Technology
Within the UK, Element can provide a vast array of testing services of all types at its numerous locations. In particular the Wimborne and Hull facilities are able to provide the UK space community with comprehensive mechanical and RF testing services.
ESR Technology is active in a range of markets covering space and terrestrial industries and specialises in tribology, the field of engineering related to friction, wear and lubrication.
EAL is generally content with its in-house design and test facilities and with the analysis capabilities of its main laboratory. Its B2 test bay is currently being upgraded to test subsystems associated with HTP (High Test Peroxide) green propellant.
Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (National Centre for Atmospheric Science)
FAAM is a public facility, funded by BEIS. NERC grant applications can include access to the facility which will be funded free at point of delivery – for these contact the FAAM operations manager.
Falcon Project Ltd, Westcott
Falcon would like to see a high-altitude test facility at Westcott. Falcon is planning to redevelop ‘K Site’ at Westcott, which includes K2 a horizontal test stand, K1 a vertical test stand and R Site which comprises two smaller firing bays.
Fluid Gravity Engineering Limited
Access to these software tools and services for specific applications is via direct consultancy with Fluid Gravity Engineering Ltd. Some packages can also be distributed under commercial or academic license.
Fraunhofer Institute - Glasgow
Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd is a Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) incorporated as a not-for‐profit, limited by guarantee company that provides applied research and development services to industry.
Glyndwr Innovations Limited
Glyndŵr Innovations Limited has specialist skills and equipment for the fabrication, test and integration of high precision optics. This includes large, up to 2.0m diameter, and complex optics such as aspherics.
Goonhilly Earth Station Limited
GES offers Geostationary Satellite Services both for Telecommand, tracking and control (TT&C) and TV uplink. We offer LEO tracking (3.8m & 5.0m) antennas in S & X band.
High Value Manufacturing Catapult
The High Value Manufacturing Catapult was established to be the catalyst for the growth and success of UK advanced manufacturing. The 7 centres offer access to world-class equipment, expertise and collaborative opportunities.
Honeywell (formerly COM DEV) - Aylesbury and Edinburgh
Honeywell (COM DEV) is generally well-equipped for its own purposes and can access those external facilities needed to support its RF component, subsystem manufacturing and test activities.
Imperial College - London
Both the Magnetometer Calibration Facility and the EOCF are world class calibration facilities able to support a full range of active characterisation projects for Blackett Laboratory physicists.
International Space Propulsion (ISP) - Marlborough
ISP’s consultancy expertise covers all aspects of space propulsion system design, manufacture, test and support services.
Intertek - Leatherhead
Within the UK, Intertek can provide an extensive array of testing services of all types at more than 50 locations. Specifically, the Leatherhead facility is able to provide a comprehensive EMC testing service.
ISVR Rayleigh Laboratories - Southampton
Although ISVR’s principal activities are centred on acoustics and vibration research, the Laboratory offers a comprehensive acoustic test facility for the space community, ranging from unit- or subsystem-level all the way up to spacecraft-level.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems UK - Harwell
LMS' UK space facilities include: ‘Aeroshell’ thermal protection systems for re-entry vehicles; payload release mechanisms; terrestrial and planetary landing systems; space-plane actuation systems; and hypersonic and aerodynamic modelling.
Magna Parva’s manufacturing, environmental, validation and testing facilities are available to external users under suitable contractual arrangements.
Mars Space (MSL) - Southampton
The Mars Space EP Lab facilities are private, but are available for use by 3rd parties, subject to availability, and via normal commercial arrangements.
MOD/QinetiQ LTPA Ranges and Facilities
There are number of MoD facilities which may be of potential use to the space community needing to test rocketry, impacting probes, RF equipment, and to access unmanned UAVs for airborne demonstration of space payloads.
Nammo UK (Moog ISP) - Westcott
Nammo’s high altitude and sea‐level test cells at Westcott are all used to support in‐house rocket engine development projects, but there is some capacity for taking on external work, subject to availability and normal commercial arrangements.
National Composites Centre, Bristol
The NCC is an independent, open-access national centre, delivering world-class innovation in the design and rapid manufacture of composites. It is one of the 7 organisations affiliated to the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
National Physical Laboratory (NPL) - Teddington
The NPL range of facilities and measurement capabilities is not limited to those described above and covers a wide range of other areas.
National Wind Tunnel Facility
The National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF) is an initiative in which (currently) 17 wind tunnels distributed across seven UK universities are made open for up to (25% of time) to external researchers in the UK and abroad, from both university & industry.
Neptec UK Ltd
Neptec’s space contracts will require extensive qualification testing and since Neptec UK is an SME without its own testing facilities, it will have to rely on other organisations in the UK to provide those services.
Newton Launch Systems
SME dedicated to the development of innovative space technology and providing the facilities for others to do likewise. Newton has teamed up with the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre to provide a range of test facilities at Llanbedr airfield.
Nuclear AMRC - Manufacturing Innovation
The Nuclear AMRC works with companies to overcome their nuclear-specific manufacturing problems and helps them develop the technical capability to compete on cost, quality and delivery.
The OU Department of Physical Sciences has excellent facilities to support its in-house planetary research programmes. It is happy to collaborate with external users, subject to availability of resources and normal commercial arrangements.
Oxford Space Systems
Oxford Space Systems is an award-winning space technology business that's pioneering the development of a new generation of deployable antennas and structures that are lighter, less complex and lower cost than those in current commercial demand.
Prestwick Spaceport will operate from Glasgow Prestwick Airport, a 24/7 airport with two major runways 12/30 and 03/21 of 2,986m and 1,905m respectively. Prestwick Spaceport aims to establish itself as a horizontal space launch facility in Scotland.
QinetiQ has a number of EP test chambers at its Farnborough facility, available for use by external Customers on commercial terms.
Queens University Belfast
QUB has excellent facilities to support both its in-house research programmes and external users, subject to normal commercial terms.
Radnor is a UK MoD accredited independent test house for weaponry & explosives. Radnor is able to provide static rocket motor testing which can be combined with on-site mixing and filling of energetic materials.
As part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, it is clearly part of RAL Space’s mission to provide world-class space development and test facilities for the UK space community.
Reaction Engines Ltd at Culham Science Centre
Reaction Engines is a UK-based company formed in 1989 to design and develop the technologies needed for a new class of innovative hypersonic propulsion system – the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE).
Roxel (Safran-MBDA), Kidderminster
Roxel’s rocket motor design, manufacturing and testing facilities, which were established principally for its own development programmes make it ideally positioned to support external customers in all aspects of rocket propulsion systems.
Satellite Applications Catapult – Harwell
The Catapult has many down-stream facilities including an operations control centre with spacecraft and payload control software, data processing facilities and data visualisation facilities including a large video wall and 3-D visualisation suite.
Space Park Leicester
Space Park Leicester aims to be a world-leading hub for innovative research, enterprise and education in space and Earth observation, Space Park Leicester will create a collaborative community for academia and industry to develop and grow.
Spaceport Cornwall is the UK’s Horizontal Launch solution, utilising the state-of-the-art facilities at Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly Earth Station. A partnership between Cornwall Council and Virgin Orbit will result in a first launch by 2021.
Shetland Space Centre is a privately-owned company providing support to in orbit satellite operations. This support includes vertical launch of satellites and ground stations for telemetry, data download, command & control & space situational awareness.
Spur Electron Limited - Havant
Spur Electron’s expertise and facilities for EEE components and space electronics manufacturing at its Havant site constitute a world-class resource for the UK space community.
STAR-Dundee has particular expertise in SpaceWire and SpaceFibre and its in‐house facilities are dedicated to these technologies and to their further development. STAR-Dundee is happy to work with external customers under suitable commercial arrangements.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL)
Surrey Satellite Technology's facilities are fully dedicated to the manufacture and testing of its own programme of small satellite manufacture and the company does not offer its facilities to third parties.
Swansea University has long-standing and notable experience in collaboration with industry and research institutions in the UK and abroad.
Thales Alenia Space – UK, Harwell, Bristol & Belfast
TAS UK is a member of a major European Large Scale Integrator, and as such has access to many European AIV facilities. It is watching developments of AIV facilities at the Harwell site with great interest.
TWI Technology Centre (Wales), Port Talbot
The TWI Technology Centre in Wales offers truly World-class state-of-the-art facilities for research, development and application of NDT techniques which have direct application for the space sector.
UK Astronomy Technology Centre
The UK ATC has excellent facilities for development and test of space instrumentation as evidenced by a number of advanced technology space programmes it has worked on including MIRI and SPIRE;
Ulster University - Belfast & Jordanstown
Ulster University offers excellent facilities and capabilities across advanced engineering, advanced materials technologies, composites, fire testing and material characterisation, and computer science.
University College London, Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL)
MSSL's facilities are mainly used for internal purposes, but there is some spare capacity to support external customers under usual commercial arrangements.
University of Dundee
The University’s Space Technology Centre has particular expertise and facilities to support research and development of on-board data-handling (OBDH) systems and planetary lander technology.
University of Glasgow Wind Tunnels
Here we suimmarise our high-speed trans-, super- and hypersonic wind tunnel facilities likely to be of interest to the space community.
University of Kingston
Kingston University has excellent facilities for rocket engine research and is happy to work collaboratively with external academic and commercial users.
University of Leicester Space Research Centre (SRC) & Space Park Leicester
The SRC’s facilities have a transient loading and are in principle available for use by external customers - the University has demonstrated experience in accommodating external work, with appropriate planning
University of Manchester Wind Tunnels
The University offers excellent space research capabilities supported by unique experimental facilities including supersonic/hypersonic flows, control systems, space system engineering and remote sensing, and GIS systems.
University of Oxford - Department of Physics
The Department’s environmental test facilities are adequate for its in-house programmes. The facilities are available for use by external customers, subject to appropriate planning and commercial terms.
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton has several departments which offer commercial or collaborative access to specialised space facilities.
University of Strathclyde
The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow was founded in 1796 as the Andersonian Institute, before receiving its Royal Charter in 1964 as the UK's first technological university.
University of Surrey
The University is a centre of Excellence for space and telecommunications research
University of Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies
The Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies is focused on the exploitation and development of disruptive quantum technologies. Access to all facilities is only via individual collaborative agreement.
University of the West of England - Wind Tunnels
The UWE wind tunnel facilities are operated and developed by the department of Engineering, Design & Mathematics in the Faculty of Environment and Technology. The department has two production facilities namely the supersonic and subsonic wind tunnels.
Vaeros Ltd – Harwell (The Aerospace Corporation)
Although Vaeros Ltd has no ‘facilities’ in the UK, it is able to offer the UK space community access to its full range of expertise and services available in the US.
Viper RF - Durham
In terms of facilities, VIPER RF offers a custom MMIC design service using space-qualified wafer foundries, and component level engineering test service for MMICs.
Vorticity is a centre of excellence for aerospace systems, engineering consultancy and space systems development, specialising in entry, descent and landing systems for space vehicles.
Warwick Manufacturing Group
WMG is part of the University of Warwick, providing research, education & knowledge transfer in engineering, manufacturing & technology. WMG is one of the 7 centres of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.