Newry based product testing company showcasing its work at major UK Space Conference

Newry based testing company, Resonate Testing is attending this week’s Space Comm Expo, where it will highlight the importance of battery testing within the space industry. Pictured is the Lithium-Ion Battery Testing process.

TOM Mallon, Managing Director of Resonate Testing, the Newry based commercial test house, has stressed the need for effective and comprehensive testing on batteries with the increase of modern technology dependent on advanced battery technology.  

Commenting ahead of attending this week’s Space-Comm Expo which is taking place in Farnborough International Exhibition Centre on the 6th and 7th March, Tom said, “Battery testing is crucial. The more our society moves towards renewable sources of energy, the greater the need for effective battery storage solutions and comprehensive and thorough testing.

“With the emerging space sector hub developing in Northern Ireland and the need for batteries that can withstand extreme forces in the technology used, it is of paramount importance that they undergo the correct testing. 

“As Space opens up to greater exploration and exploitation and the electrical system becomes more complex and power-hungry, the use of advanced battery technology on satellites and other technology has increased year-on-year.  Whilst on the ground, the emphasis is making sure all the systems work as desired, as once they go into orbit it is problematic to carry out repairs. 

“Getting from the surface of the earth to space is not easy. The extreme forces on take-off reach around 6G, that is six-times the magnitude of the earth’s normal gravitational pull.  So, every item on the launch vehicle and onboard technology from the smallest bolt, largest panel or battery array must be able to withstand those extreme forces and function properly.”

Resonate Testing has been providing high quality testing and certification services to companies globally since 2015 and has been able to utilise its expertise in the aviation industry to provide its services to the emerging space sector hub in Northern Ireland and further afield.  

Tom continued, “We have vast experience in the aviation testing sector and have positioned our team of engineers to adapt their expertise to service the Space industry.  The company, which is part of the NI Space cluster, undertook testing for a camera system used during the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.  In the upcoming twelve months, we have a range of space sector projects in the pipeline, such as testing satellites and a system to collect space debris, in addition to our day-to-day commercial testing across a wide range of industries. 

“One of the main stays of our company is battery safety.  Most battery arrays are made up of lots of lithium-ion units which are easy to charge, capable of storing large amounts of energy and delivering voltage up to three times higher than conventional batteries.”

Tom is keen to spread the message when it comes to battery safety, whether they are in orbit or powering an e-bike, mobile phone or electric vehicle. He said, “We know what can happen when batteries fail. Even though we are expanding our work within the Space sector, we will continue to provide objective testing and evidence-based data to all our client companies, irrespective of whether they operate in space or closer to home.

“We have one of the best testing facilities anywhere in the British Isles.  Our engineers have decades of experience between them and can create bespoke solutions often within time frames that competitor companies cannot compete with.  We are looking forward to attending the Space-Comm Expo this week to showcase the testing facilities we can provide for the space sector.”

The Space-Comm Expo is a significant event for the UK Space sector.  Currently, the UK contributes 6.5% to the global space market and the UK government is aiming to grow this sector to 10% by 2030. This Expo is the first large scale event of its kind dedicated to the commercial future of space.

The event unites the UK and international space communities, such as government, industry, and academia and will give Resonate Testing the opportunity to showcase the company’s latest innovations, share inspiring stories, and publicise the important advancements that are happening within the space sector in Northern Ireland to a wider audience. 

The Resonate Testing team will also be exhibiting at the highly anticipated Paris Space Week which takes place later in the month from 12th – 13th March at the Paris Event Centre.  This will also provide the company with a great opportunity to explore advancements in space technology and connect with fellow industry experts.  

Managing Director of Resonate Testing, Tom Mallon was invited onto BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback programme on Thursday 4 January following the Japan Airlines aeroplane collision earlier this week at Haneda airport in Japan on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Speaking to BBC presenter, Declan Harvey, Tom discusses the rigorous flammability testing that aircraft go through, how technology has changed, and how safety has improved over the years.

Click here to listen to Tom’s dialogue: https://youtu.be/T4e7QA1GVro?si=0jpsgqNCgTvO0pHU

To listen to the full BBC radio clip, click here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001tt5t

Newry Based Testing Facility, Resonate Testing has issued a warning on the importance of battery safety this festive period. Pictured is Managing Director Tom Mallon.

As the festive season approaches and the usual scramble for those last-minute gifts becomes a full-scale assault on your senses and your pocket, often overlooked but essential elements of today’s Christmas gifts are batteries.

From mobile phones, drones to electric bikes, so much of today’s world depends on high-capacity batteries most of which are made from lithium-ion.

As the world move towards more carbon neutral stance with power generated by more sustainable sources, the requirements for effective power storage have increased; however, with the increase in use comes an increase in risk. 

Generating electricity creates heat, which can lead to battery fires — or even explosions., manufacturers test their products to the point of failure to ensure that they are safe in normal use and to see what abuse they can tolerate.

Newry firm Resonate Testing is at the forefront of battery testing. Whether it is testing batteries that will power satellites in Space, or dealing with more earth-bound technology, Managing Director Tom Mallon, is keen to stress the need for effective testing. 

He said: “Battery testing is crucial. Most batteries are made up of lots of lithium-ion cells which are easy to charge, capable of storing large amounts of energy and delivering voltage up to three times higher than conventional batteries.

“If the battery or cell is damaged that energy can be released through a process called thermal runaway which releases tremendous amounts of energy in the form of heat which leads to fire and also the release of toxic vapour.  This can have devasting consequences and tragically we have seen the results with a number of deaths in the UK caused by house fires started by battery fires.”

Another source of ignition could also be in accidental damage to your mobile phone battery. Tom explained: “If you’re used to carrying your phone in your back pocket and you were to sit on it breaking the battery that same process of thermal runaway could start and cause severe burns.”

He is keen to spread the message when it comes to battery safety whether they are in orbit or powering an e-bike or mobile phone, he said: “We have one of the best testing facilities anywhere in the British Isles. Our engineers have decades of experience between them, and we know what can happen when batteries fail.”

“My advice when buying your powered devices is to check that it has a proper UK kite mark and if you are buying replacement batteries to buy them from a reputable supplier and use only the charger provided by the manufacturer.”

In the interview with BBC Newsline reporter, Eve Rosota, Resonate Testing's Managing Director, Tom Mallon discusses all things Lithium-Ion batteries.

Battery technology and Lithium Ion (LI ion) batteries in particular, have undergone a massive and ongoing expansion, over a short space of time. Batteries now power countless items that support everyday life from portable computers, cordless tools, mobile telephones, watches and toys, to wheelchairs, bicycles and motor vehicles.

Watch the full video here to find out how to use and store batteries safely.

European Space Agency Astronaut, Tim Peake and Irish Aeronautical Engineer and an award-winning STEM advocate, Norah Patten visiting the Resonate Testing stand at the UK Space Conference.

In the run up to the UK Space Conference on the 21-23 November 2023, UTV reporter, Stewart Robson interviewed Tom Mallon, Director of Resonate Testing on the growing opportunities for Northern Irish manufacturers and product testing in the UK Space industry, as well as the other benefits that the UK Space Conference will bring to Northern Ireland business.

Click here to listen to the full story

The UK Space Conference took place from the 21-23 November 2023 at the ICC Belfast.

Ahead of the UK Space conference, Tom Mallon, Director of Resonate Testing spoke to BBC Economic and Business Editor, John Campbell about Resonate Testing’s facilities and what they can offer the UK Space industry.

We also hear from NI SPACE cluster Manager, Robert Hill on the incredible opportunities available to companies in Northern Ireland within the wider UK Space sector.

Click to listen to the full story

Resonate Testing and Queen's University

Resonate Testing has joined with The Queen’s University of Belfast, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, to support a project to help deal with the problem of so-called space junk.

The partnership with the Northern Ireland Research Cube Sat programme (NIRCSAT) aims to develop a cost-effective system to deal with the increasing problem of orbiting debris in space.  The project aims to design and develop an innovative solution for space debris removal.

Over the years the amount of material orbiting the earth has increased, from non-functional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris, and particularly numerous in Earth orbit, debris from the breakup of derelict rocket bodies and spacecraft.

Space debris represents a risk to spacecraft and if not dealt with, may stop future launches or damage existing satellites.

Resonate Testing’s Managing Director Tom Mallon said, “Projects such as this are vital to the ongoing and future exploitation of space. If we don’t clean up after ourselves, we may reach a point where we are effectively earth-bound. With our extensive testing experience in the aerospace and space sectors, we are confident that we will be able to help with the development of an innovative space debris removal system and we recognise the potential impact this project could have on the space industry.”

Queen’s University Professor Gasser Abdelal, the lead on the project, commented, “This is a serious issue and this concept, which has been supported by Resonate Testing is one possible solution. We need to act now and try to tackle the space debris problem to ensure further space development is not compromised.”

This innovative project and other topics will be up for discussion at the UK Space Conference which is taking place at the ICC Belfast from 21 to 23 November 2023.

Resonate test delighted to be given the opportunity to present at the FAA Tenth Triennial International Aircraft Fire and Cabin Safety Research Conference held in Resorts Hotel-Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA from October 17-20, 2022

Olivia McAvoy will be presenting company R&D efforts regarding

· An Extended Study into the Comparison of the Carlin and Sonic Burner

· A Study into Flame Ingression and Flame Arrestor Testing

On a profession level the conference offers Resonate the ability to participate in Peer discussion on developing best practice and trends in the industry.

On a personal level the conference offers the opportunity to meet with old friends with the regulator’s and industry communities.

We look forward to a busy week!

We at Resonate Testing LTD, are delighted to have supported a number of irish missions over the last few weeks with our aircraft flammability testing and certification services as the country looks to bring in more PPE in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

First we supported Andrei Jatariu and the team at Aero Inspection in their efforts to support the tremendous task being undertaken by Aer Lingus. As the only laboratory on the Island of Ireland accredited for the necessary flammability testing it gave the team enormous pride to play a small part in this essential humanitarian task. See the Aer Lingus blog post here and a photo from the BBC NI newsfeed below.

Next we supported Eirtech Aviation Services in support of one of Europe’s largest leading airlines with a request to transport essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies in the cabin. Eirtech, in conjunction with Resonate Testing Limited  successfully carried out flammability tests relating to the installation of cargo bags within the cabin to allow the transportation to go ahead. See the Eirtech press release here and an Industry press release here.

NSC’s senior staff attend and participate in the NIPSE (Novel Integration of Powerplant System Equipment) Final Public Workshop over a two day period. The workshop was held at Berlins ILA airshow.

The workshop attracted many of the leading players in Nacelle Integration activities in Europe with US and Russian participation also present.

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