Crews Break Ground on Wind Tunnel Building at Embry-Riddle Research Park

This month construction crews broke ground on the Wind Tunnel building that will be part of the Embry-Riddle Research Park in Daytona Beach.  The wind tunnel itself was delivered to Daytona Beach in May, and is currently in storage awaiting the completion of the building.

When complete, the building will house a large, technologically advanced subsonic wind tunnel that is capable of delivering flow speeds of up to 230 miles per hour. The test section is six feet wide, four feet high and 12 feet long. Wind tunnels are large tubes with air moving inside that are used to mimic the actions of objects in flight. The tunnel will be used by students and faculty for researching flight and aerodynamics. The new ERAU tunnel has many unique features, including a custom-built force and moment balance, instrumentation traverse, a multi-channel pressure measuring system, and various high-powered lasers and cameras to perform Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) to measure flow velocities.

The first tests in the wind tunnel will be led by Dr. Gordon Leishman and Dr. Ebenezer Gnanamanickam of the Department Aerospace Engineering, who are conducting aerodynamics research funded by the Department of Defense including the U.S. Army, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Their tests will use multi-scale and multi-resolution PIV to study unsteady, turbulent, separated flows. The wind tunnel is being designed and constructed by ASE Holdings and Aerolabs. When complete the wind tunnel will also have a dedicated space for outside customers to prepare their models and house visiting research teams.

The wind tunnel is the next phase of the Research Park construction and comes months after the completion of the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex). The MicaPlex brings together faculty, students and business partners to collaborate and develop new technologies and products to bring to market. The building includes a business incubator that supports startup and early-stage growth companies in the research and development-intensive phase of their growth process. 

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