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Lab Spotlight: Natick - Ouellette Thermal Test Facility

Oullette Before and After


The Ouellette Thermal Test Facility is a joint Army/Navy asset located at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center. This 8,100-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility houses a large propane test cell; a laser and photonics lab; a number of instrumented manikins, including a traversing manikin developed for the U.S. Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility; and three other laboratories.

The facility was designed to support the Department of Defense (DOD) in:

  • Evaluating and characterizing the effect of flame/thermal threats and hazards on materials.
  • Assisting with the development of new and improved materials for use in clothing and individual equipment items for protection of the individual soldier.
  • Evaluating and analyzing the thermal processes and combustion byproducts of fuel-burning equipment such as tent heaters, kitchen burners, water heaters, and other items of individual equipment to provide optimum performance of the equipment while improving soldiers’ quality of life.

Ouellette is the only known facility in the nation that has the capability to test and evaluate the thermal performance of milligram quantities of materials through full-scale systems such as clothing and tents. This facility provides the Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center’s scientists and engineers with unprecedented research evaluation capabilities for the evaluation of flame and thermal protective materials, clothing, and equipment.

For more information about the facility, visit Natick’s facilities page or contact the Ouellette Thermal Test Facility, Mrs. Peggy Auerbach, at (508) 233-4074.

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