Aerodynamics LabThe Wind Tunnel Laboratory allows experimentation and investigation of air flow (i.e., aerodynamics) and is therefore a valuable resource for engineering project testing, fluid mechanics coursework and alternative energy courses.

The centerpiece of the Wind Tunnel Laboratory is a 33 foot long wind tunnel featuring a 50 hp motor capable of producing air velocities between 1 and 90 m/s (2 to 200 mph) in a test section that is 18 inches long, 12 inches tall, and 12 inches wide.  The laboratory specifically focuses on air flow (i.e., aerodynamics) experiments and is therefore a valuable resource for fluid mechanics, alternative energy (e.g., wind turbines and blades), and even studies pertaining to wind flow around building structures.

Various instrumentation supports experimentation in the wind tunnel, including a two-component dynamometer (lift and drag) with digital force display, a velocity meter, smoke generator with long wand, x-y traversing boundary layer and Pitot-static tube probes, a 10 port pressure transducer, A/D readout meter display with signal conditioners, and a calibration set.

Standardized test models are available for specific experiments.  These include two standard airfoils types with adjustable angle of attack for measuring lift and drag, or alternately stall and wake measurements can be investigated.  Two standard airfoils with multiple pressure taps are available to investigate boundary layer effects.  For investigating boundary layers, drag, pressure distribution, and wake properties, a boundary layer plate, pressure cylinder, smooth sphere, roughened sphere, chamfered disk, cup, and hemisphere are available.  Other models for aerodynamic study can be produced on Lawrence Tech’s 3-D printer.

The wind tunnel is fully capable to perform any typical undergraduate engineer laboratory experiments, but is also capable of more demanding tests performed by senior project students (e.g., SAE Aero Design team) or graduate students. 

In detail, the Wind Tunnel Laboratory contains the following equipment:

  • Engineering Laboratory Design Inc. 18” Test Section Wind Tunnel Model 404 with 50 hp Motor.

ELD instrumentation:

  • Readout-Metering Assembly, with + 10 VDC, 3 ¾ inch digit LED output.  Includes analog outputs and provides displayed output for the instrumentation.
  • 10" WG Differential Pressure Transducer installed in meter, with 10 port selector valve.
  • Two component dynamometer (lift: 8 lbsf (35.67N), drag: 5 lbsf (22.25N)).  Includes appropriate signal conditioning cards.
  • X-Y Traversing Mechanism with interchangeable boundary layer probe and Pitot-static tube. Arranged for standard ELD test section cover.
  • Removable Ceiling Panel for Mounting X-Y Traversing Mechanism fitted with quick release fasteners and handle stiffeners.

ELD Test Models

  • NACA 0012 and 4412 airfoils with sting for use with dynamometer.  4" (10.2cm) cord, -5° to +20° angle of attack adjustment.
  • NACA 0012 and 4412 airfoils with pressure taps, -30° to +30° angle of attack adjustment.  4" (10.2cm) cord, 9 precision taps.
  • Flat plate for boundary layer study. 12.0" (30.5cm) X 17.5" (44.45cm).  Aluminum tooling plate with precision knife edge.
  • Cylinder for pressure distribution study, 1.5" (3.81cm) diameter brass.
  • Drag model set consisting of 1.5" (3.81cm) diameter bodies with sting:  smooth sphere, roughened sphere, chamfered disk, cup, and hemisphere.

ELD Calibration Equipment

  • U-tube manometer.  1 ½” diameter, 12” columns with English or SI marked scale and anti-parallax back panel.
  • Stainless steel calibration weight set and calibration fixture.
  • Linear calibration scale, inch or SI units.

Other instrumentation

  • AeroLab Smoke Generator System with long wand.
  • Dwyer Instruments Smart Air Velocity Transmitter, range 0-15,000 sfpm, with display.
  • Dwyer Instruments Air Velocity Transmitter Windows software and connecting cable.