Animal flight and Aeromechanics Wind Tunnel

Animal Flight and Aeromechanics Wind Tunnel

We are excited to start using our new wind tunnel which was installed in 2019.  The tunnel has a 1.2 x 1.2 x 4 meter test section and can operate at speeds from 2 – 50 meters/second (approx 5 – 120 mph). The test section is enclosed by the “White House” which is a BioSafety Level 2 enclosure with HEPA-filtered air exhaust, which allows us to test wild-caught birds and bats without fear of transmission of any infectious agents.

Initial indications are that the flow quality is excellent, with turbulence fluctuations below 0.03% of the free stream velocity – Preliminary measurements, and details about the design of the wind tunnel are in this recent AIAA conference paper .  More detailed experiments are underway and will be reported soon.

The wind tunnel has a complete suite of measurement systems including 6-axis force transducers, a computer-controlled Pitch-Yaw model positioning system, a cross-stream probe traversing system. non-invasive Particle Image Velocimetry lasers, high speed cameras, hot wire anemometers, etc, etc.

The wind tunnel is suitable for both aerodynamic and animal fight experiments and can be used by researchers based at Brown university, other research institutions, public and private companies. It operates as a cost-center at Brown University and can be used on a weekly basis for very modest usage fees.

For more information, please contact the facility director, Prof Kenny Breuer