An experimental facility was built where films of solid deuterium (and hydrogen) may be made with known thickness and irradiated with pulsed beams of electrons (up to 3 keV) and light ions (up to 10 keV). Films are made on a target plate held at 2.5–3 K. Film growth rate is calibrated with a quartz crystal film thickness monitor. The target plate, which can be heated so that films are removable by evaporation, may be used both as a calorimeter and as a beam current collector. Methods for measurement of secondary electron emission coefficients were developed, and preliminary measurements were made with electrons and hydrogen ions. For electron bombardment, the secondary electron emission coefficient of solid deuterium was much smaller than one. It was shown possible to use the set-up to study beam desorption of very thin films. Furthermore the set-up could be used for measuring the energy-reflection coefficient γ (i.e. the fraction of beam energy reflected from the target) for protons impinging on a heavy target material by using the target as a calorimeter.