Fluid Dynamics Testing Facilities (FDTF)

The Fluid Dynamics Testing Facilities (FDTF) operates a number of facilities for fluid mechanics and aerodynamics testing.

The key Fluid Dynamics Testing Facilities are two low-speed wind tunnels and a free-surface water tunnel.  

The larger tunnel is a brand-new $1.4 Million facility with a 1.2 x 1.2 x 4 meter test section, capable of operating at speeds up to 50m/s, and configured for both engineering, aerodynamic testing as well as animal flight testing (BioSafety Level 2).  The test section is enclosed by the “White House” which is a BioSafety Level 2 enclosure with HEPA-filtered air exhaust, which allows testing of wild-caught birds and bats without fear of transmission of any infectious agents.  This is one of the largest and most modern animal flight wind tunnels in the world.  Initial indications suggest that the flow quality is excellent, with turbulence fluctuations well below 0.1% of the free stream velocity.

The smaller wind tunnel has a 0.6 x 0.6 x 3 meter test section and can operate at speeds up to 50 m/s.

The water flume has a 0.6 x 0.8 x 5 meter test section and can operated at speeds upto 1 m/s.  It is also available for testing both engineering models and animal subjects.

Instrumentation includes 6-axis force/torque transducers, Multiple particle image velocimetry systems and hot wire anemometers.