Santa Clarita, CA

The Proving Ground for the World’s Most Complex Testing Programs

  • Environmental Simulation
  • Class 100,000k Clean Facility
  • Dynamics and Acoustics
  • Hypersonic Simulation
  • Hydraulics Testing
  • Pneumatic Testing
  • Mechanical Testing
  • Fuel Icing and Contamination
  • Gas Systems and Cryogenics
  • Pyroshock Simulation

A Legacy of Space and Defense Innovation

The engineers at the Santa Clarita facility have worked on the world’s most complex space and defense programs for decades, including:

  • Space Shuttle
  • MX Peacekeeper
  • International Space Station
  • EELV
  • Mars Rover
  • Hypersonic Missiles
  • Space Launch System
  • Next Generation Fighters

With a history of innovation, Element U.S. Space & Defense added several million dollars’ worth of new equipment to the site over the last few years, including a new T4000 dual shaker system.

Regardless of what you need, the experts at the Santa Clarita facility are ready to help you with your most complex testing needs.

Dynamics in Southern California

The Santa Clarita laboratory is home to more than a dozen electrodynamic shaker systems with ratings of up to 80,000 lbf. With digital control systems and multiple channel instrumentation, engineers can simulate random, sinusoidal, sine-on-random, and other vibration environments. As a result of the comprehensive capabilities within their dynamics team, Element U.S. Space & Defense’s Santa Clarita facility can replicate the vast majority of dynamic events that occur here on Earth, as well as many dynamic conditions beyond our world.  The dynamics department at the laboratory includes the following:

  • Classical shock (half-sine, terminal peak sawtooth, trapezoidal)
  • Shock response spectrum (SRS) 10Hz-20 kHz
  • Random, swept sine, sine burst, sine-on-random, and random-on-random vibration profiles
  • Combined thermal, fluid flow, and cryogenic vibration testing
  • 100+ instrumentation channels (accelerometers, force sensors, strain gauges)
  • 14 vibration exciters from 6,000 to 45,000 lb. force
  • 80,000 lbf dual shaker vibration facilities
  • Two (2) 60,000 lbf dual shaker vibration facilities
  • Class 100K (ISO Class 8) clean room dual shaker vibration facility
  • True ordnance and MIPS pyroshock test facilities
  • 5000 ft3 (Class 100k clean) and 120 ft3 acoustic reverberation chambers
  • Acceleration Up to 400 G from 2 ft., 10 ft., and 25 ft. radius centrifuges with 200 Channels of Slip Ringssome text
    • Centrifuge Load Capacity to 5,000 lb
  • High capacity overhead cranes for shaker positioning and test asset mounting

Pyroshock Simulation

  • Classical Shock Haversine
  • Shock Response Spectrum (SRS) 10-20kHz
  • Resonant Beam
  • True Ordnance
  • Metal to Metal Impact
  • Free Fall and High Velocity Drop Towers
  • Shock: Classical Half Sine, Trapezoidal, Haversine, and TP Sawtooth.
  • Pyroshock: Shaker Simulated, Metal to Metal Impact, and True Ordnance
  • Mechanically Induced Pyroshock Simulator (MIPS)
  • NEW Spacecraft MIPS:
    • 4’x4' Standard Horizontal Shelf (Can Also Support Custom Shelf Sizes)
    • 24" Diameter Separation Ring Standard Mounting (Can Also Support Custom Part Patterns and Mounting)
    • Supports >1,000 Pound Payloads
    • Excites Three Axes Simultaneously without Rotating Part
    • 8-Ton 3 Axis Overhead Crane
    • 16’x16' Staging Area in Front of Setup
    • Adjacent to Acoustic and Vibration Cleanrooms
    • Temperature and Humidity Control
    • ISO 8 Cleanroom (Cleanroom Tents Available for Cleaner Applications)
    • Capable of Achieving Most Common Payload Launch and Rideshare Shock Levels (SpaceX, Rocket Lab, Relativity Space, International Launch Services, Firefly Aerospace, etc.)

Acoustic Testing in Santa Clarita

The Santa Clarita lab houses four reverberation chambers and four progressive wave tubes. As a result, the acoustic test environment at the lab encompasses the following:

  • 5,000 Cubic Foot Reverberation Chamber
  • 1,400 Square Foot High Bay
  • Class 100K (ISO Class 8) Clean Room
  • Emission Measurements and High-Level Noise
  • Reverberant Sound Levels to 167 dB
  • Progressive Wave Tube to 174+ dB
  • M+P and PAK Closed Loop Control Systems and 100+ Instrumentation Channels
    • Microphones, Accelerometers, Force Sensors, Strain Gages, etc.

Extreme Environmental Testing and Space Simulation

The Santa Clarita lab’s climatic and space simulation services cover demanding test requirements with combined environments of temperature, altitude, and humidity from -70°F to +350°F in chambers up to 28' x 16' x 15'. Thermal vacuum chambers to 10 feet in diameter can handle temperature extremes from -320°F to 1,000°F with combined ambient pressures of 1 x 10^-8 TORR. Salt fog, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and chopper chloride chambers are sized up to 6' x 10' x 8'. The sand and dust chamber provides wind velocities to 4,400 FPM for sand and dust erosion testing. Finally, explosive atmosphere chambers can simulate conditions at 100,000 feet and temperatures to -320°F. Key environmental and space testing capacity at the Santa Clarita lab include the following:

  • Several Temperature/Humidity Chambers from 2' x 2' x 2' to 25' x 25' x 15'
  • Combined Environmental Temperature and Vibration Facilities
  • Temperature/Altitude Chamber up to 900 Cubic Feet
  • Large Drive-In Temperature/Humidity Chambers
  • Temperature Chambers Up to 40' x 60' x 15'
  • Explosive Atmosphere Chamber (6' Diameter by 20' Long)
  • Rapid and Explosive Decompression: 10 to .01 Mil/Sec
  • Sand and Dust, Salt Fog, and SO2 Chambers Up to 10' x 10' x 8'

Pneumatic, Hydraulic, Mechanical, and Cryogenic Testing

At Element U.S. Space & Defense, you will find one of the world’s most comprehensive pneumatics testing facilities. In addition, our engineers are highly skilled at providing you with all of the hydraulics, mechanical, and hazardous flow testing you need to ensure the safe operation of your systems and components—especially those of a mission-critical nature that are required to perform in challenging circumstances. Key pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, and cryogenics capabilities at the lab include the following:

  • Three 3.9 Million BTU Heaters (1,500°F at Heater Outlet and 1,200°F at UUT)
  • 6,000 Psig Gaseous Nitrogen and Helium at High Flows with Helium Recovery System to Reduce Costs
  • Multiple Skydrol Mules for Pressure to 10,000 PSI and 40 GPM
  • High Flow Water Testing Up to 3,000 GPM at Ambient Conditions

Plus, the team can build complex custom fuel test setups, which can range from 1 to 100+ GPM with high aromatic contents (e.g., toluene) and a mix of air and fuel (such as air/fuel heat exchangers and fuel/hydraulically actuated air flow valves). In addition, the engineers at the lab can design complex multi-system tests, including low and/or pressure testing at temperature to include ramp rates of 5°C/min while the unit is undergoing vibration or environmental testing.

A Higher Standard for Hypersonic Testing

Hypersonic weapons present unique testing challenges that few organizations have the expertise or ingenuity to meet. Element U.S. Space & Defense is at the forefront of hypersonic testing, developing complex testing protocols that accurately simulate the extreme stresses placed on weaponry at the upper limits of achievable speed. At the Santa Clarita laboratory, a team of engineers have developed a novel solution for aerodynamic heating to simulate hypersonic flight. Key services include:

  • Material coupon and full-scale testing
  • Thermal exposure testing up to 4,000°F
  • High mass flow of hot air testing
  • Temperature measurement to 2,800°F
  • Variable air pressure environments ranging from vacuum to elevated pressure

Fuel Icing, Fuel Contamination, and Gas Systems

A stand-alone, water-in-fuel, fuel icing test stand is equipped to perform testing in accordance with SAE ARP 1401 and MIL-F-8615D on aerospace fuel system components, systems, and subsystems. This setup can work with a neighboring test stand designed to run contaminated fuel testing in accordance with MIL-F-8615D and SAE ARP 8615. In addition, the lab provides fuel component testing to develop and qualify fuel line parts and subsystems in support of aerospace and military partners to critical parts qualification requirements, including RTCA DO-160 and MIL-STD-810. In fact, Element U.S. Space & Defense’s Santa Clarita facility is the only test lab in Southern California to conduct fuel icing testing in strict accordance with MIL-F-8615D and SAE ARP 1401—and to provide NAS Class V fuel cleanliness.

In addition, the team at Santa Clarita has a thorough understanding of your mechanical, fluid, and gas testing needs, providing:

  • Pressure, Temperature, and Flow Capabilities for Environments with Gas and Liquids
  • Media Testing (Air, Water, Seawater, Oils, Fuels, Solvents, Cryogenic Liquids, etc.)
  • Computer-Based Data Acquisition and Control Systems
  • Three Test Legs Up to 600–900 GPM
  • -70°F to 135°F Fuel Temperature and Fuel Polishing Capability to NAS Class III
  • State-of-the-art DAC System to 100 Channels
  • Fuel Icing Pad Containing Three Legs with a Flow of 300 GPM
  • Karl Fischer Titration to Verify Water Content