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ALPhANOV and MBDA: the award-winning VTF platform


The collaboration between ALPhANOV and MBDA concerning the VTF (Vulnerability Test Facility) enjoys its first successes in the operational phase.
During the summer of 2020, the ALPhANOV/MBDA collaboration took on an international dimension thanks to the scientific recognition of the VTF platform:

  • Obtaining 2 stars in the Innovation Awards of the company MBDA.2 stars for ALPhANOV - Innovation Awards MBDA
    The internal MBDA competition aims to encourage innovative projects within the Group and its partners. The scientific excellence of 355 projects was assessed, representing more than 2,000 employees involved. On a scale of 1 to 3 stars, 110 projects were awarded 1 star, 15 were awarded 2 stars, and 1 project was awarded 3 stars by the international MBDA jury. The VTF platform received 2 stars, thus confirming the scientific interest of the project.
  • The publication of a scientific article « On the validation of a priori estimates of standard displacement uncertainties in T3-stereocorrelation » in IOP Science.
    This article was written by ALPhANOV, EikoSim, MBDA France, and the Mechanics and Technology Laboratory (ENS Paris-Saclay). This study quantifies the thermomechanical effects undergone by steel plates nanotextured by ALPhANOV (world first) under laser flux thanks, in particular, to the measurement of displacement fields by correlation of images.
  • Participation in the European TALOS project.
    The CILAS company coordinates the European TALOS project whichVTF plateform - ALPhANOV and MBDA brings together 16 beneficiaries (including MBDA) and 4 affiliated entities from the industrial and academic sectors of 9 member countries of the European Union. The goal of the project is to demonstrate the availability of critical high energy laser weapon technologies, thus laying the foundations for the development of a European laser effector for military applications by 2025. ALPhANOV will support MBDA by leading a first campaign of first level tests with the contribution of the VTF for the needs of the project.
  • The integration of new equipment within the VTF Laboratory with new investments.
    Coupled with a dynamic laser lighting system to overcome the high brightness of the plasma (Cavilux system), a new high-speed camera will allow precise observation of weld pool movements and the precise moment when drilling is carried out. ALPhANOV and MBDA France have started observing the propagation of cracks on ceramic-type materials.

The VTF, based on a 10kW CW laser platform, targets dual applications. Indeed, the VTF allows implementation of civil and scientific applications in complete safety. Welding and polishing on complex shapes, heat treatment are some examples of processes that can be undertaken with this high-power laser source. The large quantity of metrology equipment makes it possible to finely characterize the laser interaction processes to better understand them and to determine new theoretical physical models.

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