David Florida Laboratory (DFL)

Canadian Space Agency, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Supplies specialized rooms, equipment, and support personnel necessary to assemble and check the spaceworthiness of entire spacecraft, their subsystems, and major components

Area(s) of Expertise

The mandate of the David Florida Laboratory (DFL) is to provide ongoing support to meet the objectives of the Canadian Space Program through the qualification of flight hardware. The DFL facilities offer a range of services such as thermal vacuum, thermal balance, vibration, modal, and radio frequency testing, as well as mass properties measurements to name but a few. In fact, it is one of only a few facilities of its kind in the world that are capable of simulating the enormous stresses experienced during a rocket launch and the temperature extremes that are associated with space flight. The DFL also has ready access to a range of services offered by the Communications Research Centre which is located on the same site, and to the National Research Council of Canada's Acoustic Test Facility for simulating launch environment characteristics. Lastly, the DFL provides offices, conference rooms, storage areas, check-out rooms and in-house mechanical, electrical and electronic shops for custom design and device construction.

Research Services

On a fee-for-service basis, the DFL is available for use by Canadian and foreign aerospace and telecommunications companies and organizations for qualifying hardware. The DFL has:

  • Two Class 100,000 clean rooms measuring 315 and 1,080 square metres (3,400 and 11,600 square feet), that are fully equipped for the integration and assembly of satellites and other space hardware
  • Three space simulation chambers, the largest of which is 7 x 10 metres (deep) (22 x 35 feet) for performing thermal vacuum and thermal balance testing, and one small chamber for performing outgassing tests
  • A range of thermal, temperature humidity, and thermal passive intermodulation (PIM) chambers for performing various thermal and thermal PIM tests
  • A variety of modal, static load, mass properties, photogrammetry, and thermal vibration equipment that are available for qualifying the structural aspects of various test articles; the larger of the two electrodynamic shakers has a force rating of 178 kN (40 k lbf)
  • Various anechoic chambers, shielded rooms and antenna ranges and associated radio frequency (RF) equipment for performing spherical, cylindrical, and planar near-field, far-field, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and PIM/multipaction testing on a variety of antennas and RF payloads
Sectors of Application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Defence and security industries
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Specialized lab

Equipment

Function

Thermal Qualification Facilities

TV5 Chamber

• DFL’s largest thermal vacuum chamber

• Spacecraft as well as subsystem and component level testing

• Chamber working size (vertical cylinder): 6.7 m diameter x 10.7 m (22 x 35 ft)

Thermal Qualification Facilities

TV3 Chamber

• Thermal vacuum testing of all up spacecraft, spacecraft subsystems, and components

• Chamber size (horizontal cylinder): 2.5 m diameter x 2.5 m (8 x 8 ft)

Thermal Qualification Facilities

TV2 Chamber

• Thermal vacuum testing of spacecraft subsystems and components

• Chamber size (horizontal cylinder): 1.0 m diameter x 1.0 m (3 x 3 ft)

Thermal Qualification Facilities

Thermal Chamber TP1

• Temperature range: +120 to -120 ºC or (+248 to -184 ºF)

• Foam box size: 1.8 x 1.2 x 1.2 m (72 x 48 x 48 in)

Thermal Qualification Facilities

Thermal Chamber TP2

• Temperature range: +120 to -120 ºC or (+248 to -184 ºF)

• Foam box size: 2.5 x 1.7 x 1.65 m (98 x 67 x 65 in)

Integration and Assembly Areas

Net rentable high bay space (2)

• High Bay 2: 180 sq m (1,940 sq ft)

• High Bay 3: 650 sq m (7,000 sq ft)

Integration and Assembly Areas

Loading bay (2)

• High Bay 1: 37 sq m (400 sq ft)

• High Bay 3: 124 sq m (1,335 sq ft)

Integration and Assembly Areas

Storage area

• On site climate controlled storage: 465 sq m (5,000 sq ft)

• Racks and bulk storage of items up to 4.8 m high (16 ft)

Radio Frequency Qualification Facilities

Antenna Test Facility 1

• Capabilities: RF testing for system, subsystem, and component level

• Frequency range: 1 GHz to 20 GHz

Radio Frequency Qualification Facilities

Antenna Test Facility 2

• Capabilities: RF and EMC testing for satellite, system, subsystem, and component level

• Frequency range: 250 MHz to 40 GHz

Radio Frequency Qualification Facilities

Cylindrical Near‑Field Facility

• Near field measurement type: Az-Y

• 20 GHz receiver system: NSI

• Chamber size: 6.1 x 6.1 x 6.1 m (20 x 20 x 20 ft), walls lined with absorber

Radio Frequency Qualification Facilities

Spherical Near‑Field Facility

• Near field measurement type: Theta-Phi

• 50 GHz receiver system: NSI

• Chamber size (L x W x H): 7.3 x 4.9 x 3.6 m (24 x 16 x 12 ft.)

Structural Qualification Facilities

Unholtz Dickie UD4000 Shaker

• Sinusoidal: 178 kN (40 k lbf)

• Random: 165 kN (37 k lbf)

• Stroke: 2.54 cm (1 inch) peak to peak

Structural Qualification Facilities

LDS V9 Shaker

• Sinusoidal: 105 kN (23.6 k lbf)

• Random: 105 kN (23.6 k lbf)

• Stroke: 7.62 cm (3 inch) peak to peak

Structural Qualification Facilities

LING model A395 Shaker

• Sinusoidal: 27 kN (6 k lbf)

• Random: 22 kN (5 k lbf)

• Stroke: 2.54 cm (1 inch) peak to peak

Structural Qualification Facilities

MTS Shock Machine

• Height: 3 m (10 ft)

• Platen: 0.6 x 0.6 m (24 x 24 inches)

• Specimen weight: 270 kg (600 lb) maximum

Structural Qualification Facilities

Leica LTD500 Laser Tracker

• 2.0 to 35m range

• Overall coordinate accuracy is 10 ppm

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Department of National Defence (Defence Research and Development Canada)
  • MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)