Research facilities

We're a national leader in research and innovation, supporting defence and security capabilities.

Robotic Engineers photographed in the robotics lab in Building 18 on campus.

L to R: Dr Shadi Abpeikar, Dr Essam Debie, Dr Phi (Vu) Tran, Mr Ammar Mahdi (PhD Candidate), Dr Asanka Perera,

UNSW Canberra is a national leader in research and innovation, supporting defence and security capabilities. Whether you’re a university researcher, collaborator, or partner, we have the infrastructure, equipment and data resources to accelerate your research. We house Australia’s first engineering design facility, and boast special collections that host rare books, manuscripts and digital media. 

Explore the facilities and resources that make discovery and research impact possible at UNSW Canberra. 

Academy Library

The Academy Library houses exceptional print and electronic scholarly resources that support teaching, learning and research at UNSW Canberra.

American autoclave

The Advanced Composite Research Unit (ACRU) Composites Laboratory houses an American autoclave, which is used for manufacturing high-quality polymer matrix composite components.

Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF)

The centrepiece of UNSW Canberra Space is Australia’s first space mission concurrent engineering design facility.

Australian Cyber Security Centre laboratories

UNSW Institute for Cyber Security is home to a number of laboratories used for simulating and addressing cyber attack scenarios.

Aviation Safety Studio

The Aviation Safety Studio is a space dedicated to flight simulation for teaching concepts such as aviation safety, aircraft performance, aircraft design, and flight stability and control.


A speck of dust has the potential to cause major issues for spacecraft. Our Class 10,000 cleanroom provides a pristine environment for the development, integration and build of our satellites and various subsystems.

Digital Forensics Laboratory

The Digital Forensics Lab at UNSW Canberra is a dynamically configurable space that can be used to simulate and conduct different digital forensic investigation scenarios.  

Dilution refrigerator

The 3He4- He dilution refrigerator has base temperatures of 5 mK and is used as a low-temperature platform.

Electron spin resonance spectrometers

We have a suite of electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometers employed for conventional, pulsed and electronically detected ESR. 

Falcon telescope

We play a vital role in the US Air Force Academy’s worldwide Falcon Telescope Network, housing one of the 12 telescopes. Working in collaboration with institutions from across the globe, the UNSW Canberra provides the infrastructure needed to support the Canberra node. 

Faraday cage with VPN access

During 2020, the need to reach students normally studying face-to-face on wireless security was prioritised and a strategy enacted to allow UNSW Canberra to create our VPN Wireless Range.

Hot press

The Advanced Composite Research Unit (ACRU) Composites Laboratory houses a hot press, which is used to manufacture thermoplastic composite parts and specimens.

Indoor Robotics Flight Test Facility

The Indoor Robotics Flight Test Facility is a large netted area (10m x 10m x 4m) used for testing robots indoors. The laboratory is equipped with a 20-camera motion capture system that tracks the position and orientation of multiple robots at speeds up to 200 times per second.

Innovation Lab for cyber security and machine learning

The Innovation Lab seeks to apply creativity, high-performance computing and advanced machine learning to a range of emerging challenges in cyber security, space, signals processing, and modelling.

PC Laboratory and servers

Our PC laboratory areas have 105 seats in the new facility and 140 overall when you include older lab spaces. Our server hosts more than 2000 virtual machines, 360 threads, 6TB RAM and 140TB all SSD storage across an 8-node hyper-converged private cloud. 

Radiochemistry and Radioisotope Handling Laboratory

A shielded radiochemistry laboratory is available for the safe storage of radioactive samples, and the preparation of wet and open radioactive sources. It features several flow cabinets and detectors for activity evaluation.

Radioisotope implanter

The radioisotope implanter is used for the low energy (50–150 kV) ion implantation of radioisotopes as negative ions.

Reusable vacuum bagging system

The Advanced Composite Research Unit (ACRU) Composites Laboratory houses a reusable vacuum bagging system, including Heatcon composite bonders for thermosetting resin curing.

Satellite ground stations

UNSW Canberra Space is equipped with two satellite ground stations that enable us to communicate with our spacecraft. One is located on campus, while a larger industrial-grade satellite is positioned just outside the ACT border in Yass, hosted by our ground station partner Cingulan Space.

SCADA table

The SCADA table, otherwise known as 'Tiny Town', is a miniature scale critical infrastructure town, using real critical infrastructure hardware and software to control low voltage systems.

Special Collections

The Special Collections at UNSW Canberra houses 13,500 rare books and more than 350 manuscript collections as well as theses, videos, maps, Commonwealth records, photographs, slides and negatives. We provide both physical and digital access to support UNSW Canberra’s teaching, learning and research needs. 

Structural Testing Laboratory

The Structural Testing Laboratory (soils, concrete and steel) houses a wide variety of testing facilities.

Suite of Mössbauer spectrometers

A suite of spectrometers is routinely employed for 57Fe- and 169Tm-Mössbauer spectroscopy measurements at room temperature and over the temperature range, 4.2 - 300 K, with a high-temperature furnace (300- 720 K) for 57Fe.

Supersonic Wind Tunnel and Shock Tube Laboratory

The Supersonic Wind Tunnel and Shock Tube Laboratory houses a Mach 2 to 3 blowdown supersonic tunnel and two shock tube facilities for steady and non-steady high-speed flow experiments. All three facilities are used for the investigation of steady and non-steady high-speed flows.

T-ADFA free-piston shock tunnel

The T-ADFA facility is an Australian-developed experimental device capable of generating flows with up to 12 times the speed of sound at temperatures that can simulate Earth entry conditions and hypersonic air-breathing flight.

Thermal Vacuum Chamber Laboratory

The Thermal Vacuum Chamber Laboratory replicates space environments and is used to test how objects and materials will behave in those conditions. It features two chambers and solar simulation capability.

Two-stage light gas gun

The two-stage light gas gun is one of UNSW Canberra's flagship pieces of equipment. It's versatile and boasts three different firing configurations to suit the needs of most high-velocity impact experiment.