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Wind Tunnels Laboratory

Directed by Dr. Colin P. Britcher and Dr. Drew Landman


The Wind Tunnel Laboratory houses three different wind tunnels. The most commonly used one being the Closed-Circuit Low-Speed Wind Tunnel. There is also an Open-Circuit Low-Speed Tunnel with 6" Test Section. Finally, the laboratory houses a Hypersonic Wind Tunnel. This page concentrates on the Closed-Circuit Low-Speed Wind Tunnel.


Closed-Circuit Wind Tunnel Facility Description:
(Supplied by AeroLab LLC, Laural, MD c. 1971)

Used for undergraduate and graduate instruction and research in;

  • Aerodynamic, aeronautical, automotive , and architectural fields
  • Measurement techniques


General Specifications:

  • 125 H.P. motor (variable frequency AC Drive)
  • Computer Control and Data Acquisition

High-Speed Test Section:

  • 3 by 4 feet, 8 feet long, 55 m/s (123 mph)
  • Turntable and pitch mechanism (2DOF)

Low-Speed Test Section:

  • 7 by 8 feet, 7 feet long, 12  m/s (26 mph)
  • Computer-controlled 3-axis traverse  

Test Programs:

  • Ship airwake/rotor interaction study (S. Doane)
  • Road vehicle ground wake study (J. Chen)
  • Transport aircraft wake study(B. Sahin, H. Yavas)
  • MagLev Vehicle aerodynamics (M. Wells, B.Renaud)
  • MAE 621, MAE 406, MAE 407 classes (Instrumentation)



Pressure System:

  • 80-channel high-speed pressure scanners.

Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) 

  • Evaluates velocity of microscopic smoke particles in a plane illuminated by a pulsed laser light sheet
  • 2-3 velocity components, 1-875-3.5 fps

Hot Wire Anemometer (HWA)

  • Infers velocity from cooling of very fine heated wires placed in flow
  • 1-,2-, 3-components, frequency response >50khz


Closed-Circuit Low-Speed Wind-Tunnel Diagram




Hypersonic Wind Tunnel

Wing and Probe Assembly in High-Speed Section

Low-Speed Section and the Converging Nozzle

Data Acquisition Computers and NI Hardware