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Collective Protection

The core task of the Collective Protection Branch is expertise in the protection of persons and property in collective facilities (underground and above ground) against CBRNe threats. It tests NBC protective structures components (filter systems, physical protection, etc.) on behalf of the FOCP (approvals) as well as for armasuisse Real Estate and the industry.

By operating the FOCP certification office, the Branch is responsible for the quality management of components subject to testing in the field of civil protection.

FOCP Certification Office

The Certification Office of the FOCP is responsible for the quality management of civil protection components subject to compulsory testing. Its tasks comprise: 

  • regulation of requirements for the certification of components subject to compulsory testing and the enforcement of certification requirements
  • compilation of the necessary directives and technical requirement profiles as well as the regulation of conceptual requirements
  • registration and processing of requests from the private sector for new certifications, and extension or augmentation of existing ones
  • defining the extent of testing required and issuing of test assignments to the inspecting authorities
  • managing the Database for Civil Protection Components (ZKDB), which contains all tested components with their certification numbers
  • deciding on whether a certification is to be granted or refused, or whether a certification is to be extended or enhanced after all test results have been submitted

Test results

The FOCP Certification Office is also responsible for monitoring certified components and arranges product audits, regulates sampling, issues test assignments and checks compliance with quality requirements (Q plans). Currently, about 250 components from 70 suppliers have been certified by the FOCP. 

Certification Authority for NBC protection components

The Certification Authority for NBC protection components is responsible for the issue of Spiez Laboratory conformity certificates (LS-CC). It assigns test orders for components to the STS 0022, STS 0036 and STS 0055 testing laboratories of Spiez Laboratory (Certification Authority) according to foreign and/or special requirements. If the tests are successful, the Certification Authority confirms the conformity of a component or production series with the relevant requirements. The conformity of the product is not further monitored during the validity of the LS-CC. The client is responsible for ensuring the conformity of serial production.

Our most important tests

  • Shock safety tests on mounting parts for use in protective structures, and concrete anchor systems using vertical and horizontal shock test machines
  • Measurement of the test bank stimulation and test item response by means of piezoelectric acceleration transducers
  • Shock pressure loading of protective shelter components and explosion protection valves using simulators (shock tubes) and conventional explosives
  • Measurement of the pressure/time responses using piezoelectrical pressure transducers
  • Measurement of the flow resistance of air conduction components using ventilators, flowmeters and precision differential pressure gauges
  • Determining the flow rate and power consumption of ventilators, ventilation systems and after-treatment apparatus using flowmeters and precision differential pressure gauges
  • Measurement of acoustic emissions
  • Testing of function and mechanical load tolerance
  • Shelter filters are tested in the accredited STS 022 testing laboratory

Ground shock tests

Explosions, earthquakes or other events cause ground vibrations that can be harmful to protective structures and technical equipment. Therefore, the effectiveness of shock mitigation measures for mounting parts and installations has to be tested experimentally on shock testing machines. Our three shock testing machines (SPM, HOSPA, VESPA) allow the simulation of a wide range of acceleration time histories in the range of 50 to 200 m/s² with test objects of up to ten tons. Concrete anchor bolts used as shock-safe fastenings for equipment must be capable of transferring transient forces into cracked concrete without being pulled out. We perform shock tests in order to evaluate and assess the resistance of anchor systems when subjected to dynamic loads in cracked concrete.

Air blast tests

In Switzerland, civilian and military protective structures alike must provide protection against air blast loading caused by nuclear and conventional explosions. Therefore, explosion protection valves, door closures, filters, but also entire ventilation systems are tested in air blast simulators (shock tube) over a wide range of pressures. For this purpose, we operate two shock tubes generating air blasts with reflected overpressures from 0.2 bar up to 80 bar. Pressure/time profiles can be generated for both nuclear and conventional explosions.

Research shock tube: The maximum diameter of a test object used in the research shock tube is approx. 0.25 m.

TPS shock tube: The maximum diameter of a test object used in the research shock tube is approx. 0.5 m.

Spiez Laboratory Austrasse
CH-3700 Spiez
+41 58 468 14 00


Spiez Laboratory

CH-3700 Spiez