Environmental Testing - Capabilities

Northrop Grumman's Environmental Testing experts conduct dynamic, acoustic, thermal, structural and wind tunnel testing to verify the mission-readiness of spacecraft and aircraft components, sub-assemblies and system-level hardware.


Large and small acoustic test facilities up to 26' x 32' x 62' (high); Sound pressure level 1-154 dB; Frequency range 22 to 10,000 Hz. Two reverberation chambers – one 15,000 cubic feet; the other 50,000 cubic. Internal cranes are available to handle test specimens. Each facility includes a horn room which houses low and high frequency acoustic noise generators and a utility room to store test equipment.

Vibration/shock laboratories with Unholtz Dickie T1000, T4000 and T5000 electrodynamic exciters for random or sine vibration testing, from box to subsystem levels. Maximum force: 55,000 lbs; Acceleration: 100 Gs; Stroke: 2.5 inches.

Single-axis and three-axis shock machines that use a pendulum apparatus to test small components (i.e. from a 10-pound, 5-inch cube to 60 pound sub-assembly) up to three axis at once. Max acceleration varies from 6000 to 8000 Gs; 64 channel acquisition.

Modal surveys capable of applying vibration to four locations simultaneously (MIMO) up to system level for FEM modal correlation.
Thermal Vacuum
Small, medium and large thermal vacuum chambers to accommodate small units or large sub-systems. Temperature control through Chamber LN2 shroud, resistive heaters applied to UUT or IR plates, and heat sinks connected to external heat exchangers. Small thermal vacuum chamber capable of real time video monitoring. Medium thermal vacuum chamber capable of separate launch ascent simulations (rapid depressurization).

Thermal Cycle
Small, large and soft-wall thermal cycle chambers capable of testing at ambient pressure (N2 environment) from unit through system levels.

Cryopod is suitable for material research and characterization of small components (8" cube) down to 20 Kelvin < 14 watts of dissipation. Test Cavity Size: 1' diameter cylinder; 1' high.

Mobile Thermal Chambers
Softwall thermal chambers able to be rapidly deployed for custom assemblies at customer sites.

Wind Tunnels
Two Wind Tunnels available to test stability and control during propulsion and laminar flow:

7' x 10' low-speed wind tunnel to Mach 0.37. Angle of Attack Range: -14 to 90 degrees. Angle of Sideslip Range: -24 to +24 degrees. Force and moment data acquired through a six component internal balance. Static and dynamic pressure measurements (64 channels for high rate data collection). Flow visualization through a smoke wand.

28" x 40" low-speed wind tunnel to Mach 0.22. AOA Range: -14 to 90 degrees. Angle of sideslip: -35 to +35 degrees. Force and moment data acquired through an integrated sting/balance.
Mobile testing instruments can be installed and monitored at customer sites.

Whatever stage you're in – initial design, development, manufacturing or final test – we can simulate most space environments.
Variety of hydraulic cylinders for static and fatigue testing. Load cells: 0.1 grams to 1,000,000 lbs. Reaction fixtures including a combined load stand for testing compression, torsion. Fixtures can be customized.

Various displacement measurement configurations available for precision up to +/- 0.0005 inches. Displacement Measurements up to 5'.