WiSE Research Facilities - Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel
The Texas Tech University Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel (Figure 1) is a closed-circuit wind tunnel capable of generating wind speeds up to 110 mph. It has an aerodynamic section and a boundary layer section. The boundary layer section is 6 ft wide and 4 ft high, and has 58 ft of upstream fetch for development of desired boundary layer flow. Major instruments available in the wind tunnel include Cobra probes, force transducers, laser displacement sensors and a Scanivalve system for wind, displacement, force and pressure measurements, respectively. The wind tunnel is also equipped with a particle image velocimetry system and a smoke generator for flow visualization.
Over the years, the wind tunnel has served as a major research facility in the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University. It has supported research projects that are sponsored by federal and state agencies as well as the private industry. Currently, tests of section models is being performed in the wind tunnel to facilitate investigation of wind-induced vibration of cables of cable-stayed bridges (Figure 2, sponsored by National Science Foundation) and traffic signal support structures (sponsored by Texas Department of Transportation). In a recently completed study, experiments were conducted in the wind tunnel to evaluate wind loading on sign structures (Figure 3, sponsored by International Sign Association and Outdoor Advertising Association of America).
Text Credit: Dr. Delong Zuo. Photo Credit: (Fig.1): Jeff Livingston. (Figs 2 and 3): Dr. Delong Zuo.