Products & Capabilities

Test Rigs

ATE has been supplying the finest wind tunnel test equipment to some of the world’s highest profile companies for over 30 years.

Our clients include: Ferrari F1, Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited, McLaren F1, Williams F1, Red Bull F1, Aston Martin F1; Audi AG; Fiat SpA; Mercedes-Benz AG; Toyota GAZOO Racing; Horiba MIRA Ltd.

ATE is now offering the same professional and reliable service to the wider automotive sector for the supply of test systems for the validation of early prototype and production designs for components, sub-systems, and systems:

  • Chassis
  • Body-in-white
  • Safety
  • Closures
  • Hardware
  • Trim, plus other customer-specific requirements for product validation

Our in-house capabilities include:

  • CAE
  • CAD
  • Engineering: Mechanical; Structural; Electrical; Controls; Software
  • Closed-loop motion control
  • Signal conditioning
  • Data acquisition

Custom load cell design, manufacture, and calibration

Electric Test Rigs

Hydraulic Test Rigs

Chassis & Suspension - Strut rig

Load inputs are strut top Z, bending moment about Y and bending moment about X. A key feature of this design is its ability to not only bend the bottom of the strut in the correct manner, but also to apply load due to the effective change in length of the lower control arm as it moves through the arc in relation to strut compression. The rig geometry must be modified to match the suspension geometry each time, but this has been designed so it is a quick and cost-effective operation allowing short set-up times. These rigs have tested successfully many McPherson strut types from small passenger vehicles to light commercial vehicles. Testing test the entire strut gives valuable information on the other components such as spring, strut top, rubber bushes etc.

Testing test the entire strut gives valuable information on the other components such as spring, strut top, rubber bushes etc.

Three specifications:

  • Small passenger cars, average corner weight 250kg
  • Large passenger cars, average corner weight 375kg
  • Light commercial vehicles, average corner weight 700kg

Note: all rigs can be tuned to customer load and geometry requirements

6DoF MAST rig



  • The system can operate with payloads up to 1000Kg and with a frequency response between 0 and 60 Hz.
  • The environmental chamber allows the test sample to be heated or cooled between -40°C to 85°C, with a relative humidity of between 40 – 90%.

Drive shaft rigs

Cyclic durability testing of complete drive shaft assemblies or single drive/link shafts. To facilitate complete assembly testing, a support mechanism is provided for the link shaft bearing.

Two different designs:

Rotary hydraulic actuator suitable for small to medium sized passenger car applications.  Typical torque capacity of 3.3kNm

Linear hydraulic actuator and associated lever arms and pivot bearings suitable for large passenger and commercial vehicles.  Typical torque capacity (dependent upon component geometry) is 15kNm

Both rigs can also be used to carry out the following tests and measurements on drive shaft assemblies:

  • Ultimate torsional strength
  • Torsional stiffness
  • Backlash

Body - Closures & BIW durability rigs

Custom durability rigs for the evaluation of:

  • Hood (slam, sag, over-opening)
  • Tailgate (slam, sag, over-opening)

Door (slam, sag, over-opening – hinged and sliding)

  • Pedal box durability (brake, clutch and accelerator pedals)
  • Gear shift durability
  • Hand brake durability

Custom durability rigs for the evaluation of:

  • Fuel filler / charger door (slam, sag, over-opening)
  • Window regulator durability
  • Armrests
  • Electrical switch gear
  • Glovebox lids

All rigs replicate operation in service by utilising small actuators to accurately reproduce the loads imparted into systems such as exterior and interior door handle operations, key or keyless entry (doors), secondary latch release (hood), abuse loading etc.  All systems can be user-programmed to accurately validate design specifications:

  • For the hood this includes; pulling internal release lever and opening secondary latch
  • For the tailgate this includes; unlocking door with rotary key action, pushing external release button and pulling/pushing internal release lever/button.


  • All vehicle sizes and rig operation envelopes can be accommodated
  • Specific functionality is dependent upon customer requirements
  • Full user-programmable graphical interface is supplied

These rigs are configured to cycle the component under test in a representative manner and can therefore they can include additional channels to provide; over-opening moments on doors, turn keys, and pull levers and handles.

Body structure safety

ATE offers several rigs for evaluating the compliance of the body structure, closures and seating against worldwide legislation:

  • Seat belt anchorage (Also used for seat and child restraint anchorages)



Rigs are designed and used in accordance with the relevant legal requirements.

Seat belt anchorage rig – 76/115/EEC, ECE R 14.05, MVSS 210

  • Maximum vehicle width: 2.25m; Actuator travel: 950mm; Load cell ratings: 10 Tonne
  • Height: can easily accommodate 3.5 Tonne van side intrusion – MVSS 214
  • Maximum height of lower edge of crush face: 630mm o Roof crush – MVSS 216
    • Maximum height of top of a-pillar: 2.6m
    • Load cell ratings: 2.5 Tonne. Whole vehicle crush – (Not legislative)
    • Load cell rating: 68 Tonne
    • Maximum displacement: 1.1m. Crush platen: 1.85m wide x 1.25m high

Bumper pendulum

This rig is suitable for testing bumper systems according to world-wide legislation. The pendulum mass, height and speed can be adjusted to suit customer requirements. Additional instrumentation can be added to measure bumper displacement and pendulum/vehicle acceleration. A high-speed video system can be integrated also


  • The rig is designed to be used in accordance with most applicable legal requirements, including ECE R 42, CMVSS 215 and Federal requirement Part 581.
  • Further rig specifications
    • Minimum mass: 520 kg
    • Maximum mass: 2,500 kg
    • Maximum speed: 8 mph/13 kph


Customised test facilities

ATE can design and supply testing facilities customised to individual customer’s specification, allowing for exact validation of systems in accordance with design criteria.  Some examples of customised test rigs are: Knuckle fatigue rigs; Front and rear suspension system rigs; Steering system rigs:

Durability testing - Knuckle fatigue rigs

Designed to perform durability tests on front suspension steering knuckles for testing LH and RH parts simultaneously. Key operating parameters are:

  • Hard-points of the rigs can be adjusted to accommodate various sizes of knuckle and suspension geometries.
  • Knuckles under test are supported in the rig through their hub centres.
  • Application of representative loads in the various elements of the components.
  • Data required to run the rigs is time histories of raw RLD or hard-point loads calculated in an Adams model using the RLD
  • Rig drives are iterated using MTS RPC software
  • The parts are tested at a nominal design ride height condition with a fixed length solid strut.
  • Brake torques are applied via a lever arm connected to the brake disk, which is bolted through and solidly connected to the brake calliper


  • Each knuckle is subjected to 6 different loads
  • Vertical load at turret top
  • Lateral load at turret top
  • Lateral load at lower ball joint
  • Longitudinal load at lower ball joint
  • Brake torque at tyre contact patch
  • Steering load at steering arm ball joint
  • A typical simulated life test for Western Europe/North American markets can be completed within a week.


Front and rear suspension system rigs - Steering system rig

This 5-channel simulator was designed as a test for the steering system and its mounting to the vehicle. Applying steering arm loads, hub vertical displacements and steering displacements, this rig will fully simulate a power steering systems operation with the aid of a temperature conditioned oil pump. Alternatively, the vehicles own pump can be used. Like all simulators this rig will run directly from road load data and allows a full durability test to be carried out in around 2 weeks. This type of rig can be built according to customer requirements


As well as using commercially available items above, ATE can supply bespoke / custom transducers. This has traditionally been the case for measuring loads in vehicle systems, such as engine mounts, chassis hard points, seat mountings and link shaft bearing brackets. In these cases, either the component itself is turned into a load cell, or a bespoke load cell has been designed, machined, strain gauged and calibrated in house. Often these are multi-axial devices in that they can measure up to 3 mutually orthogonal loads with little cross-coupling




“ATE Aerotech provided a virtual centre balance and sting support for the
(NIAR) National Institute for Aviation Research - we couldnt have reached
that level of expertise without them.”

Latest Case Studies

Copyright © ATE | Advanced Test Equipment. 
Site by Done & Dusted Design.Development by sebdigital.