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Product testing in a real-world aerospace environment

Cobham Plc develops communications systems for challenging environments, enabling customers to stay connected across land, sea and air.


After developing a new communications system that provides improved voice and data connectivity in aircraft cabins, Cobham Plc needed to test the product before going to market. To do this, the company required specialist facilities where it could warrant the new system against the natural neutron radiation environment experienced at altitude. However, the company did not have the capability to do this in-house.


  • Acceptance onto the Bridging for Innovators programme, which provides funding for businesses to access STFC’s large-scale science facilities
  • Access to STFC’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source facility
  • Funding for 48 hours of beam time on ChipIr – one of only three facilities in the world accepted as providing a good match to the aerospace radiation environment
  • Dedicated advice and support from experienced scientists, engineers and innovation experts

left-hand quote markAccessing STFC’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source enabled us to overcome a significant barrier whilst we were taking a strategically important new product to market. We would not have been able to achieve this without the support gained through the Bridging for Innovators programmeright-hand quote mark
Richard Sharp, Managing Director, Cobham RAD Europe Ltd.


By accessing ChipIr at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, Cobham Plc was able to formally assess the new communications system to ensure it adhered to safety standards. The results highlighted one software issue which was resolved in the final system, ensuring that the product the company launched was of the optimum standard.

The ability to assess reliability and safety in a real-world aerospace environment, with the support of STFC scientists, has enabled Cobham Plc to take the product to market more quickly and cost-effectively than was previously possible.

Cobham Ltd case study (PDF, 484 KB)

Last updated: 08 July 2019


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