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Homework Help: Wind tunnel measurements

  1. Feb 11, 2016 #1
    I'm nearly at the end of my preliminary testing for a wind tunnel in my A2 physics coursework. My question for my project so far is: "Do different shaped objects exhibit different properties under the influence of high speed air". For my coursework I need to measure or observe something to get a large pool of data for later analysis.

    My preliminary experiment has been based around a wind tunnel and gathering as much data as possible. I cut a polystyrene wing out (using a hot wire and a fume cupboard) and made the wind tunnel with lots of help from a science technician at school. I used a smoke machine to see if I could get visible air observations by seeing the amount of air that dissipated on each side and the turbulence nearer the rear by changing the angle of attack for different objects. It didn't provide the best results so I tried blacking out the wind tunnel, pointing directional lights at it from all angles, coning the FOV of the camera to block out glare but to not much avail.

    Here's the best video from the preliminaries I got.

    I'm looking for some suggestions and ideas for different ways to obtain data from this wind tunnel we've built (I also had ideas for using an anemometer, springs and pressure but am stuck on how to implement these) and how to get better visual representations of the smoke. If anyone could throw some suggestions at me that'd great.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Maybe put a streamer (colored twine) on the end of a rod, and move the rod around your airfoil to show what the streamlines would look like if your smoke streamline setup were working better... :smile:

    I also think I've seen some setups where they glue little short streamers onto various parts of the object in the wind tunnel, to look at the airflow around the object. I searched Google Images for a picture, but no luck so far...
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