Electric Propulsion (Space) and Space Hardware Manufacturing and Testing Facilities
02 Nov 2020




Ion thrusters on the BepiColombo spacecraft.

​​​Electric propulsion - QinetiQ's ion thrusters on the BepiColombo spacecraft.

Credit: QinetiQ

Our Farnborough site has some of the most highly regarded electric propulsion and space hardware test, development and manufacturing facilities in Europe. The facilities consist of:

  • Ø1.6 x 3.0 m ion thruster test chamber (LEEP1)
  • Ø3.8 x 10 m vacuum chamber (LEEP2)
  • Ø3.3 x 8.5 m thermal vacuum chamber (LEEP3)
  • Ø0.9 x 1.7 m thermal vacuum chamber (IVOR)
  • Ø0.5 x  1.0 m thermal vacuum chamber
  • Ø3 x 0.5 m cryogenic vacuum facility
  • Ø1.0 m x 3 m ion thruster test facility
  • Beam probe array
  • Thrust balance
  • Coordinate measuring machine
  • Magnetic mapping facility
  • Class 100,000 cleanroom
  • 4 x class 100 laminar flow benches
  • Electron beam welding machine
  • Automated TIG welder (lathe)
  • Automated TIG welder (orbital pipe)
  • Spot welder
  • Automated Spark erosion machine (EDM)
  • 2 x vacuum furnaces
  • Atmospheric tube furnace
  • Manufacturing facility (2 lathes, milling machine)
  • Hydrogen furnace