TNO-PML Research Facilities (Delft, Rijswijk and Ypenburg)
TNO Zuidpolder, Delft
In 1983, a laboratory was set up in the Zuidpolder complex of TNO in Delft for new research in the field of electromagnetic launching of projectiles. The investigation ran until 1997.
Lange Kleiweg (Plaspoelpolder), Rijswijk
In the 1980s an indoor rocket test stand was built at the Plaspoelpolder in which a static test of rockets up to and including Improved Hawk could take place without nuisance to the surrounding area. At the end of the 1980s there was a discussion that Ypenburg airfield would be divested by the Ministry of Defence. TNO agrees with Defence to build the renovation of the facilities for weapons, ammunition and explosives research on Ypenburg, for which a large piece of land will then be reserved in connection with safety circles around the ammunition storage.
Finally, in 1992 the Toxlab was realised in the Plaspoelpolder. Toxlab allows safe working with highly toxic substances because there are very extensive safety provisions. For example, there is negative pressure in the entire laboratory so that toxic substances cannot escape in the event of an accident. There is also an exceptionally good system for cleaning extracted gases before they are released into the atmosphere.
Ballistic Research Laboratory
After various options were reviewed, a Laboratory for Ballistics Research was built at the Ypenburg airfield in the late 1980s and extended in early 1990s to cope with an increase in the need for research. The latter mainly aimed at end ballistics in which the effects of ammunition on a target are measured and investigated using modern methods. In addition, the then Technical Physics Department of TNO advised for many years in the field of optical measurement methods and image processing allowing efficient testing. Several ranges for all kinds of experiments with projectiles up to 40 mm calibre allowed firing at a target.
Shooting tests in the self-designed, unique, large bunker with a shooting tunnel on targets were possible up to an equivalent of 25 kg of TNT explosives without any nuisance to the environment. Very advanced diagnostic equipment is available including ultra-fast cameras and X-ray pulsers in an three-dimensional arrangement.
Laboratory for Pyrotechnics
A year later, the Laboratory for Pyrotechnics was opened, in which pyrotechnics, propellants and explosives can be safely produced within closed cells. Production methods were improved. Extrusion can thus be carried out on a fairly large scale.
In the autumn of 2018 and the spring of 2019, a large part of the Defence, Security and Safety activities moved from Rijswijk to additional new facilities at Ypenburg. On May 23, 2019 those new facilities for the research topics Energetic Materials and Explosives, and Ballistics and Protection were officially opened by the Netherlands Minister of Defence.