Thales invests in one of the largest indoor antenna readingcenters of the Netherlands

The new building for echo-free development of antennas reaches its highest point

The construction works of the new Near Field Testcentre of Thales at the High Tech Systems Park has reached its highest point. Tuesday Thalesafternoon on 18 August, employees of Thales, construction company Plegt-Vos and installation company Loohuis Meulenbeld celebrated this milestone with ‘pannenbier’. Thales invests 3 million euros in the construction of this testcentre. The centre will contain two echo-free rooms for antenna readings.

The past few years, Thales did some major investments in developing new buildings at High Tech Systems Park. Gerben Edelijn, CEO Thales Netherlands: “For now, the Near Field Testcentre is the final project of our own development at High Tech Systems Park. It is one the largest indoor antenna reading facilities in the Netherlands. With this, we are ready for the future. We want to remain frontrunner in the field of phase array antenna systems.” The construction of HP Valves at High Tech Systems Park will start later this year.

Echo-free development and production of antenna systems
The new centre will contain two echo-free rooms. One large echo-free room for production activities and one for the development unit. Gerben Edelijn: “It is the technique behind the radar that asks for a different kind of test environment. The new facilities will be mainly used for focussing the variety of parameters of the antenna. We don’t have to pay attention anymore to any influences from outside, such as weather conditions or reflections. The redesigning of the Thales-area at High Tech Systems Park required a reconsideration of the current antenna reading facilities. This current reading facility, the Far Field Range, also known as radar tower, is no longer necessary now.” From the second quarter of 2016 on, the Near Field Site will be operational and readings will be possible in the new spaces. Other parties who want to do their own readings are welcome to join. They can get in contact with Thales for more information.

Thales currently uses different facilities for their antenna readings. They do that as well on their own area in Hengelo as at the facilities of the Directie Materiële Instandhouding (DMI), a division of the Royal Marine in Den Helder, and in the Logistic Centre, a division of the Royal Air Force in Woensdrecht. Gerben Edelijn highlighted in his speech the importance of the cooperation with organizations from defense, knowledge institutes and industry in the so-called Golden Triangle.