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Balance Calibration Laboratory

ARA designs and manufactures balances for customers as well as for use in the ARA wind tunnels. This includes: main model balances with load capacities of up to 17,800 Newtons; small store balances with load capacities of 30 Newtons; and sting balances. All of ARA’s manufactured balances are calibrated in the Balance Calibration Laboratory. All balances are calibrated to a very high standard using high accuracy dead-weight loadings.

ARA also offers a calibration service for customer supplied balances. Non-standard balance installations can be accommodated with specialised loading adapters.

All the balance calibration equipment is traceable to UK national standards.

Technical Capabilities

  • Standard equipment used to perform dead weight loadings in the calibration frame, which incorporates pitch and roll levelling mechanisms.
  • Non-standard balance set ups supplied with the necessary specialised loading adaptors.
  • A balance calibration matrix produced from a full set of interactive calibrating load cycles, including first and second order interaction terms.
  • During loading, deflection measurements of the support systems are recorded as standard and checks are continually made to ensure interference free operation of the live elements.
  • For a typical civil aircraft drag model balance, the achieved resolution of ±0.11N (±0.025lbf) in axial force components and ±0.60N (±0.135lbf) in normal force components in static calibration is equivalent to ∆CA = 0.000014 and ∆CN = 0.000075 for a typical qS of 8000N (1800lbf).