To support all research activities, the DERC has designed and built cutting-edge laboratories for acoustics, electromagnetics, and optics. These laboratories have been built with a network of partners keen to support the vision of the Centre.

Electromagnetics and Pulsed Power

Semi-Anechoic Chamber (EMC/EMI)

Our semi-anechoic chamber can perform EMC-compliance tests for devices up to the size of a vehicle. The chamber is equipped to perform immunity testing up to 18GHz and fast transient electromagnetic measurements of systems with sub-nanosecond rise times and continuous wave performance up to 10GHz. The room size is sufficient to host a vertical bounded wave NEMP simulator. The following instrumentation has been integrated into the test chamber:

  • Semi-anechoic chamber of 22.6m (L) x 17.6m (W) x 6.5m (H) working from 30MHz-18GHz
  • Four Port Vector Network Analyzer up to 20GHz
  • Thin Layer dielectric Material Characterization from 4 MHz – 26 GHz
  • Spectrum Analyzer up to 46 GHz
  • Immunity to radiated disturbances from 80MHz-18GHz / 10V/m incl. 80%AM
  • Fast electromagnetic transient simultaneous 16-channel measurement system up to 20 GHz/ 80 GSa/s
  • Indoor NEMP Simulator
  • Indoor fly zone for UAVs in order to evaluate their susceptibility in flight operations
  • The chamber is able to perform tests according to the following standards: IEC/EN 61000-4-3 / MIL-STD 461 -RS103: 80MHz – 18 GHz, Test level: 10V/m @ 3mIEC 61000-4-36, MIL-STD RS105/ IEC 61000-4-25

Low Noise semi-anechoic chamber

The semi-anechoic chamber has been optimized for hosting Emanation Security like applications with a minimum signal isolation capability of 120 dB from 1 MHz and 10 GHz. Available Equipment:

  • Low noise semi-anechoic chamber of 6.5m (L) x 6.5m (W) x 3.2m (H)
  • 120 dB shielding effectiveness up to 10 GHz
  • Wide-band receiver with full IQ access to perform RF systems qualifications with regards to noise
  • State-of-the art oscilloscopes

High-Voltage Laboratory (Pulsed Power)

Our high-voltage laboratory can host large, pulsed-power generators used to drive different applications reaching sub-nanosecond rise times and peak voltages in the range of 500kV. In order to perform cutting-edge research in the field of pulsed-power technologies, the laboratory with a shielded chamberhas the following instrumentation integrated: 

  • Shielded Chamber of 17.6m (L) x 15.0m (W) x 7.0m (H).
  • Two fast electromagnetic transient simultaneous 4-channel measurement system up to 8 GHz/ 40 GSa/s
  • High voltage probes up to 100kV @ 120MHz / 2ns rise time
  • Differential high voltage probes up to 6.8kV – 200MHz
  • General purpose oscilloscopes up to 6GHz
  • General purpose high voltage sources up to +-60kV/ 5mA
  • Fast Capacitor Chargers of 20kV/ 1.2A/ 12kJ/s

Acoustic Laboratory

Our acoustic lab is designed for highly sensitive acoustic experiments that require a high degree of isolation from environmental sound and vibrations.

The lab allows us to develop and characterise novel acoustic transmitters and sensors. In our controlled environment, we can identify involuntary sound sources in complex electronic systems that might lead to side-channel attacks.

Using our custom-developed optical vibration analysis tools, we can examine mechanical systems' behaviour across a wide frequency range of frequencies.

The high degree of acoustic isolation further enables us to run high-power sound experiments for researching device susceptibility to high-power sound sources. By analysing the impact of high-power acoustic sources, we can devise design changes to prevent denial-of-service attacks or blocking control by remote attackers.

Laser and Photonics Laboratories

Laser clean room

The Directed Energy Research Centre facilities is equipped with a 77 m2 room ISO 7 level cleanroom. The cleanroom is a controlled environment where temperature and humidity are controlled and, dust particles up to 0.5 µm size are filtered. This cleanliness level is obtained thanks to high-performance HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system and the use of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter that maintains a constant filtered-air flow with positive pressure inside the room.

The controlled environment of the clean room guarantees that all experiments performed in this area will be free of influence of atmospheric changes like temperature or humidity level, assuring high precision results. For this reason, the clean room is the ideal area to do research and development for laser manufacture, microwave photonics devices, free space optics and semiconductor developments.

The cleanroom counts with four scientific-degree optical tables with vibration isolation systems. Additionally, the cleanroom is equipped with electrical grounding and furniture materials to avoid Electro Static Discharges (ESD) to avoid any accidental damage in highly sensitive electronics/optoelectronics.

In-door and Out-door laser laboratories

Complementary to the laser clean room, DERC has high-power laser laboratories for material resistance and laser industrial application will enforce laser laboratory capabilities. These laser laboratories, designed with full mobility, are used to do experiments either indoor for laser-matter interaction analysis under controlled atmosphere or outdoor for free space propagation under desert climatic conditions in order to study thermal blooming and turbulence effects.

These laboratories are equipped with multi-kW laser sources with a focusing range capability over few km mounted on a controlled arm. They are provided with all the required instrumentation to characterize laser beam and laser-matter effects. The laser laboratories accomplish with the standard IEC 60825 for laser safety and have computing systems with state-of-the-art software for optics development and multiphysics simulation.

Computation Power and Simulation Software

All experimental activities are complemented with simulation tools for electromagnetics, optics and acoustics applications.  The computation power required for efficient simulation has been deployed in order to provide our scientists with cutting-edge capabilities.