high speed wind tunnel lab

The primary facility for this laboratory is a variable Mach number supersonic blowdown wind tunnel. The tunnel is supplied by high-pressure air that is stored in a tank farm located in the basement of WRW. The students also conduct one lab that uses a 0.22-caliber ballistics range.

The variable Mach number supersonic wind tunnel enables the testing of Mach numbers ranging from 1.4 to 2.7, has a test section cross-section of 3 inches by 3 inches, and is equipped with a variable-angle-of-attack sting on which models can be mounted. The flow around the models can be visualized using a color schlieren system. The color schlieren system uses a Xenon flashlamp, CCD video camera and computer-based image acquisition. The students also measure wall, Pitot and plenum pressures using pressure transducers and a LabVIEW data acquisition system.

The laboratory experiments that utilize the supersonic tunnel investigate flow over wedges, cones and diamond airfoils at varying angles of attack. The TSP lab has an aerothermodynamics focus, in which the surface temperature distribution on the underside of a space shuttle model is measured.