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Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

Wind tunnels

Our wind tunnel facilities - some unique in the country - cover the speed range from subsonic to hypersonic flow. We have the instrumentation and technical skills to undertake both force and high-quality point, surface and field measurements

Key equipment

Closed-circuit water tunnel

  • 0.5m x 0.5m x 2m
  • maximum speed 2m/s

Hypersonic wind tunnel

  • 7.5 second run time
  • Maximum velocity 1.2 km/s
  • Total pressure up to 850 kPa
  • Total temperature range 300-950 Kelvin
  • Mach 4, 5 and 6 nozzles w/ 6” diameter outlet and models up to 210mm long, two Mach five nozzles with centre bodies for boundary-layer transition testing.
  • Three component sting (lift, drag and pitching moment)
  • Eight channel 500 kS/s/ch acquisition rate for transient pressure data
  • Eight thermocouple channels
  • 20 channel static pressure data
  • Patch panels with pass-through for Ethernet, BNC, DIN, thermocouple, static pressure and gas injection to the test section.
  • Dual-sting testing
  • Drop-testing capability

Reynolds number range:

  • Mach 4.0: 0.4 million/metre to 38 million/metre
  • Mach 5.0: 0.2 million/metre to 25 million/metre
  • Mach 6.0: 0.6 million/metre to 10 million/metre
  • Capability to design and test at lower Mach numbers.

Open-circuit boundary layer tunnel

  • 1.2m x 0.3m x 5m
  • maximum speed 40m/s

Open-circuit "Project" wind tunnel

  • 1.2m x 0.9m x 2m
  • maximum speed 50m/s
  • useful for aerodynamics studies

Open-circuit wind tunnel

  • 0.5m x 0.5m x 1m
  • maximum speed 40m/s

Open-circuit wind tunnel ("Bob")

  • 0.9m x 0.9m x 5m
  • maximum speed 25m/s
  • useful for 'environmental' wind turbine work

Tilting flume

  • 0.5m x 0.3m x 5m
  • maximum speed 1m/s

Trisonic wind tunnel

  • 0.15m x 0.3m (Mach 0 to 0.8, 1.8)

Measurement capabilities

  • Force and moment measurement (overhead balance, Project tunnel), six component strain gauge balances
  • Schlieren systems for visualisation of high-speed flow
  • Scalar field measurements (Planar laser-induced fluorescent)
  • Full-surface temperature and pressure measurements (temperature and pressure-sensitive paints)
  • Temporally resolved high-spatial resolution near-wall velocity measurements (one, two or three velocity-component hot-wire anemometry and laser Doppler anemometry)
  • High-spatial resolution velocity measurements (2D and stereo Particle-Image Velocimetry)