Research performed at RMA is supported by a number of laboratories hosting cutting-edge equipment and grouping high level scientific and technical expertise. These laboratories are available both to RMA researchers, the Belgian Defence and third parties.

Materials Laboratory

POC: Luc Rabet

The Materials Lab is equipped with state of the art lab instruments for determining the static and dynamic mechanical behavior of materials (tensile machines of 50, 100 and 300 kN, a torsion machine up to 5 kNm, a fatigue testing machine, an impact testing machine, Split Hopkinson Pressure Bars with a robot for high and low temperature tests.

For further materials characterization and also to conduct failure analysis, the lab is equipped with metallographic preparation tools, a spark excitation OES spectrometer, several light optical microscopes and an environmental scanning electron microscope with EDX spectrometer and an Electron Back Scatter Diffraction device.

Fluids Dynamics laboratory

 POC: Bart Janssens and Benoit Marinus

The main experimental facilities of the fluids dynamics laboratory are

  • A 60x60cm low-turbulence wind tunnel (up to 40m/s);
  • A 40x40cm windtunnel (up to 30m/s);
  • A Particle Image Velocimetry system, one Laser-Doppler Anemometer, two Hot-Wire Anemometers, two Aerodynamic Balances;

Accredited ballistic applications laboratory

Poc: Prof. Dr Ir Marc Pirlot

The laboratory hosts a 103.25m indoor shooting range. Research is conducted in the areas of internal ballistic, gun dynamics, external ballistics, terminal ballistics, vulnerability and lethal/non-lethal ballistics.

The laboratory is uniquely accredited for the measurement of pressures inside the weapon (C.I.P., SAAMI and NATO standards) and for the measurement of velocities outside but also inside the weapon.

The laboratory is further equipped with a high speed thermal camera, a high speed camera, a Volumetric scanner Faro®, a 3D scanner Krypton®, a Projectile Orientation Measurement (POM) device, a Digital Image Correlation System (VIC-3D ®), Hopkinson pressure bar, velocity radars, velocity screens, shadowgraphs/Schlieren, …

Laboratory for Energetic Materials and Blasting Engineering

Poc: Michel Lefebvre

The activities of the lab are related to the synthesis, analysis, testing or assessing effects of explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics (energetic materials).

Electrical drive lab

Poc: Pascal Druyts

Besides the low-power didactic benches essentially dedicated to teaching activities, the lab is also equipped with high-power (25kW) benches. The equipment comprises power converters and the associated A/D & D/A converters and real-time processing capabilities in order to develop and test control strategies.

Laboratory for Plasma Physics

Poc: Prof. Michael Vandeschoor

The Laboratory for Plasma Physics of the Ecole Royale Militaire / Koninklijke Militaire School (LPP-ERM/KMS) is conducting experimental and theoretical research on plasma physics and fusion energy in the framework of the European thermonuclear fusion research programme and has focused more particularly on the development of Ion Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ICRH) systems. We study the theoretical aspects of the interactions of ICRF waves with fusion plasmas by means of analytical models and sophisticated numerical codes developed in the laboratory. The design of heating systems (antennas) is also an important aspect of our activities, and the LPP has developed antennas for various experiments: Textor (Germany), JET (UK) and W7-X (Germany). The LPP is also strongly involved in the design of an ICRF antenna system for the future international fusion experiment ITER.

Drone Detection Lab

The lab is equipped and organised to assess the drone detection performance in the RF, Radar, Optronics and Acoustics domain.

Laboratory Dynamics of Mechanical Structures (LDMS)

POC: Kristof Harri

The laboratory is equipped to conduct vibration testing (combined with temperature testing) in order to simulate the environmental conditions that act on a product or on structures.  LDMS is accredited by the Belgian Government.  The main piece of the laboratory is an electrodynamic shaker with a maximum capacity of 18 kN, which is able to work vertically as well as horizontally (by means of a slip table). To combine the vibration tests with temperature tests, a climatic chamber of approximately 1 m³ can be fitted to the shaker.

Robotics & Autonomous Systems Laboratory

The laboratory is essentially equipped with

  • Rotary wing Unmanned Aircraft Systems
    A series of rotary wing drones are available. The larger ones are used to support research activities in the field of 3D perception, search & rescue and humanitarian demining. The smaller ones are used to support research on human factors and for student projects.
  • Fixed wing Unmanned Aircraft System
    One fixed wing drone, type TALON, is available. It is used to support research on rapid 3D aerial perception and mapping.
  • Unmanned Ground Vehicles
    Several unmanned ground vehicles are available. The larger ones are used to support research activities in the field of 3D perception, artificial intelligence, search & rescue and humanitarian demining. The smaller ones are used to support research on heterogeneous multi-agent control & collaboration strategies and for student projects.

Radio Frequency lab

Poc: Marc Piette

The RF lab is equipped with state-of-the-art measurement apparatus (VNA, spectrum analyzers, I/Q arbitrary waveform generators, power amplifiers, …). This equipment is undergoing a yearly calibration.

Optronics Lab

Poc: Kol. Marijke Vandewal

For the evaluation of performance of the most common military sensors in the optronics domain, the lab is equipped with several fixed optical tables and the necessary test equipment. It provides the possibility to test the sensor performance in harsh conditions (i.e. in the presence of laser dazzlers or the use of camouflage materials).

xR Laboratory

Poc: Maj Haelterman

The xR Lab conducts fundamental research in the field of Extended Reality (i.e. Informed, Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality). Different sensors are linked to smart glasses and Artificial Intelligence is used to provide the user with useful information in an intuitive way.
There is also close cooperation with the Belgian Defence in order to test xR solutions for the different needs on the basis of short development cycles.