Project/blog link:Making a Wind Tunnel BASIS Advisor: Daniel Deluzio Internship location: Arizona Challenger Space Center Onsite Mentor: Jon Van de Water, Education Director
A wind tunnel is a tool used in aerodynamic research to study the effects of air moving past solid objects; it consists of a tubular passage with an object of interest mounted in the middle. Air is made to move past the object by a powerful fan system to simulate the effect of the object traveling at fast speeds. The purpose of my project at the Arizona Challenger Space Center is to build a wind tunnel to help teach visiting students about aircraft stability and wing structures of planes. This model will be used as a template for a permanent display at the Space Center. My hope is that the permanent display of the wind tunnel will help those visiting to understand what a wind tunnel is, why it is important, and how it is used to test the stability of any aerodynamic structure. Given that there are many ways to construct a wind tunnel, I will research the different types of wind tunnels in order to find the advantages as well as disadvantages of each type. I will focus mainly on the engineering of wind tunnels, as a way to understand the nuances behind creating such a structure. I hope to simplify the process of creating a wind tunnel drastically in order to allow people to easily understand what wind tunnels are and how they are used.