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Research & Development

In addition to the high speed shaft, there are a variety of vertical spaces that are used to test equipment. The space chosen depends on the specific requirements of the project (type of device, what test, mass etc). We are able to call upon extensive engineering and academic expertise in order to undertake research and development for a number and variety  of clients.

Available spaces and voids currently available are:

  • 40m

  • 30m

  • 77m

  • 93m

  • 105m

Vertical Spaces

93 Metre Void:

Highlights of the 93m vertical space include: 

  • Mobile camera rig moving at 2 m/s through the entire height of the shaft, with 4 cameras to observe and record experiments.

  • CCTV surveillance and recording with a total of 11 cameras to cover the entire space (see video below).

  • Ground floor access.

  • A sophisticated dual winching system capable of lifting a total of 8 tonnes.

  • A 4 tonne test mass configurable in increments of 250kg.

  • A 2MN loadcell for measuring the force of impacts.

  • A speed measurement system.

Drop Test:

The drop test shaft was originally used to test safety equipment on lifts such as emergency breaks and buffers. It is 30m tall with a ten tonne hoist and an electric manriding cradle for installation and inspection of the equipment being tested. The shaft has dedicated via roller shutters on the ground floor to allow for easy installation of equipment.

A novel feature of this space is that a relatively weak section has been build into the floor of the shaft with a gravel bed underneath. In the event of an uncontrolled falling object, this feature prevents the foundations of the building from being damaged.

The National Lift Tower's facilities enable drop tests to be performed with ultimatr control over all environmental variables and assessment logistics, simplying the complexities whilst enhacing the possibilities and findings of such drop tests. 

Visit the Cranfield Impact Centre website for more information on the partnership:

40 Metre Ladder:

This 40m test void has a full height aluminium ladder installed of a type typically used in wind turbines and is therefore suitable for climber and and rescue training in those environments. It is also of use for companies developing, testing and marketing personal protection equipment for working at height.

To find out more about the 40 metre ladder, it's purpose and usage please visit our height safety page: 

30 Metre

The 30m is one of the most accessible spaces in the building, being located next to the emergency stairwell. A small platform has been installed at the top of the space. Most recently, this space was used for testing an escape chute used on marine vessels and platforms.

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