Thomas Halliwell demonstrate world-class innovation in fit out of NSTF’s spacecraft testing environments

The National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF) specialises in the testing and validation of space systems and technologies. They provide a wide range of testing services and expertise to support the space industry from their base in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

As the UK’s first comprehensive set of space test facilities at this scale, the NSTF will enable the UK industry to build bigger, more technologically advanced satellites, test them in the UK, and become a world-leader in space technologies for decades to come. So with all this, and hundreds of millions of pounds at stake, NSTF needed state-of-the-art, electrically clean environments for accurate and comprehensive satellite test capabilities.

Having already delivered an M&E installation on the prestigious Mars Rover Project, Thomas Halliwell were trusted by Bassaire, a specialist in cleanroom installations, and contracted to do the full M&E fit out and deliver excellence for NSTF.

The Thomas Halliwell team showcase their space credentials

The facility featured cutting-edge space technologies, including huge cleans rooms for large satellite preparation and solar array deployment, measuring centre of gravity and moments of inertia, vibration and pyro-shock testing, acoustic testing, electromagnetic compatibility and antenna testing, and a large space test chamber to simulate the vacuum and thermal conditions in space.

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Following initial consultations, it was time for lift-off. And with decades of M&E experience across every sector, including the space industry, our highly qualified MER innovators got to work – installing dado trunking, sockets (non-essential, essential, and UPS-backed up supplies) to the highest standard in NSTF’s space-simulating environments.

Following a seamless first phase, our expert team got to work on their EMC chamber – where an electrically clean environment is essential to allow satellite electromagnetic emissions to be accurately measured, helping NSTF effectively shield their satellites against electromagnetic interference and deliver their full potential.

Jon Halliwell, Director for Thomas Halliwell, said:

“We’re no strangers to unique and complex projects here at Thomas Halliwell, and having previously worked with the UK Space Agency on the new Mars Rover, our team was familiar with the strict working conditions for spacecraft test runs. We understood there was no room for error during the installation of our M&E solutions, and after a successful first two years with NSTF, we’re now working on their EMC chamber – another unique project that demands innovation and practical expertise.”

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