RPAS AND T&E IN WALES Wales has several sites suitable for RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) and T&E (test and evaluation)/verification of space system hardware, materials and components, especially those with hazardous products, or the potential for disruptive emissions.
Pendine lies in South Carmarthenshire, at the Western end of the Loughor estuary. The site has several different areas, each with individual capabilities. The shoreline has been used in the past for aircraft landing training sorties, while the large Sea Danger Area stretches into Carmarthen Bay. It also has an Air Danger Area which extends up to 23,000ft. The facilities mostly consist of prepared, safe areas with permanent buildings and power supplies. The Long Test Track (LTT) facility, suitable for high-speed dynamic trials, is unique in the UK. The Eastern end of the range is most suitable for space related use.
Radnor Range is a UK MoD accredited independent test house offering a unique blend of capabilities to conduct assessment and trials at the range complex or other facilities. Radnor conducts fully instrumented testing of armoured vehicles (civilian and military), armoured materials and fully engineered armoured structures to all international test standards, and supports the flying of drones and counter-drone activity.
Aberporth Range, located on the west coast of Wales, provides a controlled safe environment for the release of land, air and sea-launched missile firings as well as instrumentation verification, passive and active IR/RF jamming, and the ability to manage supersonic trials activity in its 7,500km² of sanitised airspace f rom surface to unlimited altitude. The Range has a fully-instrumented 3D area for Test and Evaluation, and space for training activities. It provides both live and virtual environments, real-time data, and deployable systems, all supported by a wealth of expertise. Recent investment has created the Parc Aberporth Centre of Excellence, securing access for civil UAS to the existing Ministry of Defence (MOD) airspace danger areas over Cardigan Bay and the establishment of new segregated airspace, with unlimited height over water, dedicated to UAS testing and evaluation.
The Welsh Government has invested in developing Llanbedr in Snowdonia to provide infrastructure to support the Wales and UK UAS environment. It is anticipated that there will be further development as a space and aerospace hub in NW Wales.
This will be home to a spaceport and a spaceflight experience, training and aeromedical facility, (Spaceflight Academy).