Research & Technology

From building the world’s most advanced, one-of-a-kind gas turbine engine test facilities—with projects in more than 20 countries—to being at the forefront of research and development, MDS continually drives innovation. Its Engineering Division works with national governments and universities to innovate and spearhead the industry in new and leading-edge testing technologies.



Advanced, adaptable, and scalable

MDS proDAS is a fully programmable and scalable PC-based system that is ideal for both development and production testing environments. proDAS provides an integrated environment with test systems that feature automated throttle, engine and facility controls, and dynamic data acquisition.

Worldwide credibility

MDS data acquisition products are used extensively by world-leading engine manufacturers to support their demanding engine test programs. The investment and support of these OEMs has ensured that proDAS will remain the foremost data acquisition technology and in line with their performance requirements.

Research and development topics include:

  • Incorporating new measurement technologies
  • Upgrading software
  • Standardizing solutions and configurations for repeat customers
  • Continuing evaluation and improvement in hardware integration and compatibility

The evolution never ends

A multi-year roadmap guides the ongoing development of proDAS by our dedicated in-house software team. New measurement technologies, standardized data handling and configuration, networking architectures, and customer-driven improvements continue to elevate proDAS as the industry-leading product for engine testing.



MDS is a world leader in aerodynamics, acoustics, and infrasound. Its core staff include aerodynamicists and acousticians with a collective 60 years of experience in this specialized discipline.

Ongoing research and development topics include:

  • Developing infrasound and noise pollution mitigation technologies
  • Scale model testing to anchor theoretical results
  • Energy recovery
  • Flow conditioning and stability – Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Test Cell construction techniques with regards to sound transmission, sound absorption, and silencing

Our research in these key areas has resulted in improved test cell performance and cost savings for our clients, while extending the life of our test cells.

Infrasound and Noise Pollution Reduction

Our research into the destructive and potentially dangerous low-frequency pulsations known as infrasound spans almost two decades.

Our comprehensive design guidelines, developed through extensive scale model research and full scale validation tests, ensure smooth operation, high repeatability, and safe engine operation. Further, the structural integrity of the test cells and surrounding buildings are safeguarded through our design practices.

Scale Models

We use physical models to simulate complex geometries and configurations to enhance design solutions. We use these scale models to anchor our theoretical results to improve our understanding of aerodynamics and acoustics.

Energy Recovery

We are currently developing an advanced proprietary technology that will provide aerodynamic, acoustic, and economic benefits that will forever change the face of the turbine testing industry.

Thrust Measurement

Thrust Measurement

Areas of Development

  • In-Frame Calibration System
  • Multi-Axis Thrust Frame includes a complete force measuring module along with associated calibration equipment required to calibrate and measure the six components of thrust. Our Multi-Axis Thrust Frame provides the raw data as well as the calculated vector magnitude, angle, and location to the data acquisition system.
  • We have developed Industrial and Marine Engine Load Absorption Systems to simulate the most complex load simulation applications. Among them:
  • Constant Speed (Power Generation)
  • Variable Speed (Marine and Mechanical Drive)
  • Constant Torque (Pumping)
  • Load Profile Matching
  • Load Cell Thermal Regulation and Characterization provides improvements in thrust and thrust calibration accuracy using temperature stabilization to minimize error related to ambient temperature fluctuation.
  • Centerline Pull Development of servo hydraulic systems for the comparison of engine centreline force to the force measured by the Thrust Measurement System working load cells, for the purpose of characterizing and mitigating the errors related to the load offset.
  • 155,000+ lbf Thrust Capacity Continuous Improvement on measured thrust accuracy through working with our load cell vendors to minimize errors, and by reducing the non-repeatable errors associated with the transfer of engine services and instrumentation across the Thrust Measurement System.

Pushing the Limit

MDS designs evolve from careful consideration of operational principles that minimize non-systematic errors for the greatest measurement accuracy in the industry.

Design for Maintainability

Our Thrust Measurement Systems are not only designed for our clients’ needs today, but they are also built to meet our clients’ future requirements. At MDS, our focus is to consistently remain accurate, versatile, flexible, and cost effective without compromising quality.

Green Technologies

Green Technologies

The determination to examine, identify, and develop sustainable and environmentally responsible practices and technologies continues to remain high as companies endeavour to reduce their environmental impact.

MDS, along with many of its clients, is actively researching areas of improvement in environmental performance through measurement and monitoring techniques, as well as encouraging sustainable development through energy recovery methods.

ICAO-Annex-16 Gas & Smoke Emission Monitoring System

The ICAO-Annex-16 Gas and Smoke Emission Monitoring System is a complete gas and smoke emissions measurement system for certifying aircraft engines to the regulatory Environmental Protection requirements.

Our focus is on:

  • Surpassing all performance specifications
  • Maximizing automation and minimizing attendance
  • Operational, maintenance, and diagnostic guidance
  • Protecting personnel and equipment, and mitigating risk

Key features include:

  • High-quality continuous analyzers and fluid components
  • Auto-calibration
  • Full system integration
  • Shelter for analytical equipment and calibration gases
  • Routing of sample lines and cabling
  • Power distribution
  • Ambient air temperature and moisture measurements
  • Data and voice communication between engine operation, emissions testing and other facility areas

Aircraft Cabin Air Quality Monitoring Systems

MDS offers a solution to quantify bleed air contamination according to SAE ARP4418 Standard by sharing equipment and infrastructure with other systems in accordance with ICAO Annex 16.

Key features include:

  • Auto-calibration
  • Full system integration
  • Shelter for analytical equipment and calibration gases
  • Routing of sample lines and cabling
  • Power distribution
  • Ambient air temperature and moisture measurements
  • Data and voice communication between engine operation, emissions testing, and other facility areas
  • Protecting personnel and equipment, and mitigating risk

Non-Volatile Particulate Matter Monitoring Systems

MDS has contributed to recent research efforts for developing the SAE standard for measuring nvPM emissions from aircraft engines in certification testing facilities. Due to the negative impact on human health and the earth’s climate, nvPM emissions are currently the focus of international regulatory bodies.

In the near future, new industry regulations will require the addition of nvPM measurement technology to the gas and smoke measurement systems that are currently in place to certify aircraft engines.

The MDS solution will:

  • Provide the full line of control and measurement equipment and services
  • Include complete nvPM system integration with existing engine control and emissions measurement systems
  • Optimize and standardize the use of resources and capabilities
  • Measurement equipment
  • Calibration gases
  • Power distribution
  • Communications and procedures
  • Calculations and reporting
  • Personnel safety

Green Test Cells

MDS is engaged in a Continual Improvement Process whereby all aspects of test facility construction, operation, and maintenance are examined at the design phase from the perspective of sustainable development. In every detail, MDS endeavors to reduce resource consumption and emissions of pollutants, including GHGs, over the system lifecycle.

Within the process:

  • MDS completes environmental impact assessments for every new test facility and modifies those currently in place by evaluating / modeling their effects on surrounding ambient air quality and noise levels. Test cell configurations and mitigation equipment are available for meeting target objectives.
  • MDS offers mitigating approaches to keep odorous and air polluting emissions within compliance limits.

Energy Recovery

MDS is now in the process of developing technology that will give test cells the capability to recover most of the energy consumed by engines during testing.

Client benefits include:

  • Monetary – Reducing the amount of electricity purchased from utilities results in cost savings
  • Environmental – A reduction in overall GHG emissions
  • Operational – Various operational advantages for turbofan, turboprop, and turboshaft engine configurations