Aurora's Advanced Concepts: UHATF

Contact Information


Engine and Systems Ultra High Altitude Test Facility

The UHATF test chamber has been designed to demonstrate and verify the performance of high altitude engines and systems. Aurora Flight Sciences provides turnkey solutions for your testing needs including integration, test operation, instrumentation, data acquisition and analysis services. Aurora works hand-in-hand with our customers and their engineering teams to leverage the unique capabilities of the UHATF. Our customers have included AAI (Textron), Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.

Altitude Test Environment

The high altitude test chamber is a cylindrical bell 7 feet in diameter by 12 feet in length. It is normally operated to test high altitude aircraft piston engines. The facility is currently capable of testing up to 100 horsepower engines at altitudes up to 89,000 feet with 25% bypass air. The dynamometer is capable of 335 hp (885 ft-lb torque) with engine speeds up to 12,000 rpm. The chamber can test at altitudes up to 100,000 feet. The UHATF is located in Manassas, VA only 45 minutes from Washington, DC with convenient access to three major airports.

Test Services

In addition to the test facility Aurora provides services for data acquisition system specification and setup and instrumentation specification and installation. Aurora can design and fabricate the necessary test fixtures and adapters. Aurora supports both one shift per day testing services or continuous 24x7 operations for endurance testing. The UHATF supports testing ITAR controlled equipment. Aurora treats all customers with strict confidentiality to ensure the protection of your intellectual property.


The UHATF is for hydrocarbon and hydrogen fuel testing. All liquid fuels, including cryogenic fuels, can be accommodated. The facility is equipped with a 200 channel (expandable) data acquisition system with high response combustion data systems available. The facility has three separate cooling loops for test article cooling including cooling with liquid nitrogen (-195ºC) (3000 gallon LN2 tank on site), hydrofluoroether (HFE) (to -135ºC), and glycol/water (-40ºC). Combined cooling system capability is 570 kW.

Systems Thermal and Environmental Testing

The facility also can provide thermal and high altitude environmental testing of large scale systems for high altitude aircraft, such as payload cooling or satellite launch through combined temperature and pressure environments. This enables the development or validation of electrical or environmental control systems under simulated actual conditions.

  • Paul Dahlstrand
  • Paul Dahlstrand
  • 90 Broadway Suite 11
  • Cambridge, MA 02142
  • Tel: 617.500.4817
  • Fax: 617.500.4810
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