Wind Tunnel Tour

Lately, we’ve been working on getting a paper written since we have completed the calculations we need to get done. There are two friction coefficients that were calculated for both rolling and transverse alloy specimens. These results will be mentioned in the abstract, which is due at the end of next week. However, an introduction is in the process of being finished.

But today, there was a break in the usual routine of research work and the AERIM REU group took a trip to the Chrysler grounds for a wind tunnel tour. To start the tour there was a brief lecture on the history of fluid dynamics. The lecture included aircraft and automotive innovations. There was mention of laminar and turbulent flow, as well as the use of the Reynolds number.

The tunnel itself was industrially large, though the actual testing portion of the tunnel was only a tenth of the size. It was interesting that the platform could move with pitch, yaw, and roll. When we were in the wind tunnel, yaw was demonstrated. The piece that was being tested at the moment was a scaled down clay model of a Jeep that had a trailer attached.

The tour also went deep into the wind tunnel where the groups touring could get a glance at the enormous fan that stood in the back. The fan had huge red blades on it with only some clearance to the sides and floor of the tunnel. This fan pushes air through a closed circuit tunnel that has a grid and a series of rounded corners. The scale of the tunnel is rather fascinating, as it feels open despite being encased large amounts of concrete and acoustic dampeners.

Overall, it was an interesting tour and a joy to get to experience something so unique.


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