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A planned indoor hall in Arjeplog for car testing prolongs testseson. Photo: SATS/Arctic Arc

Student idea can become automotive testing hall

Published: 18 March 2015

The focus of this year's edition of Swedish Automotive Testing Seminar (SATS) in Arjeplog is a new indoor hall for car tests called the Arctic Arc. The project, which is in the billions, have taken a big step forward and a decision is expected this summer. The original idea comes from students at Luleå University of Technology and the University can play a significant role.

Roger Tuomas CASTT, Luleå University of Technology
Roger Tuomas, director of the competence center CASTT (Center for Automotive Engineering and Testing) at Luleå University of Technology. Photo Ted Karlsson.

- If you get to it so it will be a lot of research in this kind of indoor hall, you also want to build it for reasons of financing as a research facility and one can imagine some 50 researchers working there with questions about testing in the hall about test methods, various vehicle systems and more. Let's say 20 to 25 scientists from our university will work there, says Roger Tuomas, director of CASTT at Luleå University of Technology.

Center for Automotive System Technologies and Testing (CASTT) is a competence center at the university where research on car tests are conducted in close cooperation with automotive testing industry. It is also CASTT which organizes the test seminar SATS in collaboration with Test Site Sweden, and SPGA (Swedish Proving Ground Association).

Lars Holmqvist SPGA, project manager for Arctic Arc
Lars Holmqvist, Swedish Proving Ground Association (SPGA) is the project manager for Arctic Arc. Photo Ted Karlsson

One of several speakers at the seminar was Lars Holmqvist from SPGA who leads the project Arctic ARC with the goal to make it an indoor hall for car testing. SPGA is an organization that brings together companies in the field of winter testing cars in Swedish Lapland. One of three student groups at Luleå University of Technology developed a project in 2013, a winning proposals on how such an indoor hall would look like. Based on that proposal has SPGA and the project Arctic Arc gone ahead and obtained funding for a feasibility study. Will the investment be a reality it means many advantages for automotive testing, not least that the test season can be extended.

- Climate change is not the only reason to realize the Arctic Arc, it is also a fact that many automotive companies develop new models very quickly and then it is not enough for the three months now offered for winter testing. You may need to do tests in September for a launch in December, says Lars Holmqvist.

The purpose of this initiative is that it should become the cornerstone of research and development for the European automotive industry. Arctic Arc represents a total sample area of ​​60 000 square meters indoors, with line sections for several different kinds of year-round testing and with a controlled indoor temperature of - 7 degrees and there Luleå University of Technology will come into the picture.

- This investment will make it possible to have embedded researchers, people who work in the plant, not down in Luleå, but in Arctic Arc. According to figures from the university, we can easily apply for projects in Europe for a period of 10 years, which in turn can finance some 50 PhD students and that is highly interesting for the European Commission because it is competence and a model project for competitiveness as one can highligt, he says .