Ballistic & Mechanical Test Lab Open House

Last week we had the opportunity to co-host an Open House for UNB’s Ballistic and Mechanical Test Lab. We had over 50 people attend from the university, industry, military and community, where we were able to take folks on a tour of the facility, conduct some high-speed video demonstrations and finally, shoot a rubber chicken (sorry – no real chicken!) out of our Foreign Object Damage (FOD) gun, which is one of the largest in the world.

It was important for us to open our doors to the community since this lab really is a hidden gem, and not many people know about it. We are now working double-time to try and make people understand the level of capabilities we have here. This lab is unique to Canada, and is the official hypervelocity test lab of the Canadian Space Agency, as well as other large private-sector space companies. In addition to our rare testing capabilities, we are able to combine that with the most sophisticated diagnostic equipment in the world, such as our camera that’s able to capture 1 billion (!!!) frames per second.
This lab has been described by one of the world’s leading ballistic testing experts as the most comprehensive lab in the world. Our lab can perform anything from drop tests, to bird and hail strikes, to military armour, all the way up to hypersonic impact testing at 8 km/s – that’s 28,800 km/hr, or nearly 18,000 miles/hr for our American friends. 
In addition to our vast array of testing capabilities, we are also able to leverage our world-leading expertise in Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to provide 3D full-field measurements of coordinates, displacements, strains, velocities and accelerations.
Many times, companies who want testing done are forced to fly around the country and even around the world to various labs to complete their full range of tests. Here at the UNB BAM Lab, we are able to provide testing for all of our clients needs, and without the red tape that can hold down large corporations, we’re able to be nimble and efficient with your time and money.
Shaun Kennedy
President & CEO

Aeroballistic Range Association Annual Meeting – Bath, UK


Last week I attended the Aeroballistic Range Association (ARA) 69th annual meeting in Bath, England to represent the partnership between Mach85 and University of New Brunswick’s Ballistic and Mechanical Test Lab. This was my second time attending an ARA meeting, the first time in France, and these meetings have allowed me to meet and maintain contact with numerous organizations and individuals who conduct aeroballistic research and project execution around the world.

Attending meetings like this is always interesting from a pure curiosity point-of-view; I always enjoy hearing about the work that is being done around the globe to advance our industry. It’s also always a great validation of the work we are doing here in Canada, as we are absolutely on par with all other labs around the world. We have unique capabilities and expertise that allows us to provide services to our clients that they cannot find anywhere else.
Over the course of the past 12 years, organizations like the Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association (ACADA) have helped grow the aerospace, defence, marine and security industries in Atlantic Canada by 150%. Right now, over 190,000 Canadians work in the aerospace and defence sector, and specific to Atlantic Canada, we comprise of only 6.5% of the Canadian population but we employ 14% of the aerospace, defence and security sector nationwide. 
As a region and a country we are making our mark on this revolutionary and very necessary piece of the technological world, a piece that I am extremely excited and proud to be a part of. I can’t wait to see how far we can go. The sky itself isn’t even the limit.
Shaun Kennedy
President & CEO
European Space Agency Industry Days and inside the control room for the International Space Station
Oct. 4, 2018
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the European Space Agency’s Space Industry Days in Noordwijk, Netherlands. I was part of a Canadian contingent of organizations who took part in the three day event about an hour outside of Amsterdam. There were over 1,500 participants, 15,000 B2B meetings, a technical exhibition and workshops – plenty of people to see and things to do to fill my time! I have attended several tradeshows and conferences in Canada and Europe, but it’s always so interesting and exciting to meet folks from different countries and learn about what they are doing. So often, we get wrapped up in our day-to-day and don’t connect with our counterparts as often as we should, and it’s so nice having a dedicated few days to do nothing but that. I always come away with more knowledge, ideas and connections than I had before. And unlike I did in London in August, I didn’t break my arm on this trip – bonus!
After departing Noordwijk, we flew into Zurich then traveled through southern Germany where we had great meetings with Airbus and MT Aerospace, followed by tours of the German Space Agency (DLR) and IABG. We even got to watch inside the control room for the International Space Station! 
This was a fantastic event organized by the Canadian Space Agency with special thanks to Henrik from the Canadian Embassy in Germany! I also met a lot of great Canadians and truly enjoyed sharing this adventure with such great people.
Now, to head across the pond to England this weekend to attend the Aeroballistic Range Association meeting – lots of opportunities ahead!
Shaun Kennedy – President & CEO

Across the Pond at the Farnborough International Airshow

July 25, 2018

This past week we were fortunate enough to attend the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England. It was my first time at the show, and let me just say,  it did not disappoint. For those of you who haven’t been, it’s almost impossible to understand the magnitude of what can be found there. There were more than 1500 exhibitors from over 50 countries, 82 of the top 100 aerospace companies were in attendance, and this year’s show saw $192 BILLION in trade deals confirmed at the show. That’s billion. With a b.

We went as part of the ACADA contingent, setting up our booth in the Canadian Pavilion. It was a lot of fun getting to know my fellow Canadian companies a bit better, and also exciting to be able to sit down one-on-one with some of the largest aerospace companies in the world. Combine that with test flights from some of the most impressive airplanes in the world – there was no shortage of excitement.

Now that I’m back in Canada, the work continues. Meeting and connecting with so many people is exciting and inspiring, but it’s when you return to your day-to-day that these relationships matter. Continuing to learn more about not only our own craft, but what others are doing as well, helps us all to gain a better perspective of where the aerospace industry is going and how we fit into that. I returned from England more sure than ever at Mach85’s place in this world. There is no doubt in my mind that we offer something special to our clients and that the need and demand for our services will only increase as we’re able to spread our message to more people both locally and abroad.

Until next time, Farnborough. See you in 2020!

Shaun Kennedy – President & CEO

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