The National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF)

The de Havilland Low Speed Wind Tunnel at the University of Glasgow.

The National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF) is a UK-wide network of strategic wind tunnels identified and selected for their key capabilities to ensure the UK remains a key player within the field of Aerodynamics. Being one of the seven universities in the UK, Glasgow University was awarded £1.66M, jointly from the UK EPSRC and UK Aerodynamics, to fund a comprehensive upgrade of instrumentation for the de Havilland Low Speed Wind Tunnel featured in the above video.

The de Havilland wind tunnel is also a member of the Subsonic Aerodynamics testing Association.


Model positioning system and six-component balance

  • Designed, installed and set up by ATE Aerotech Ltd.
  • Turntable and arc sector system for yaw, pitch and roll angle adjustment of models in the tunnel.
  • +210 to -150 degree turntable motion (yaw). Sting has -15 to 45 degree pitch range, and -90 to +270 degree roll range. Pitch and yaw speed up to 3 degrees per second, roll speed up to 0.5 degrees per second. Positioning accuracy is +/-0.05 degrees.
  • Six component sting balance. Notional force and moment ranges are: +/- 850N axial force; +/-2500N side force; +/-5kN normal force; +/-250Nm roll and yaw moment; +/-500Nm pitch moment.
  • Other load cells and systems can be mounted on the sting and turntable, for example for cantilever wing testing, industrial aerodynamics testing, cyclists.
  • Standardised fitting systems.


Particle Image Velocimetry

  • LaVision, high speed stereo PIV system
  • 200Hz, 100mJ per pulse Nd:YAG laser
  • Pair of 4MPixel high speed CMOS cameras fitted with remote Scheimpflug and focussing mounts
  • LaVision Davis 8 running with GPU processor for fast batch processing


Laser Doppler Anemometry

  • 3-component Dantec LDA system with solid state lasers
  • Fibre-optic coupling
  • 1mx1mx1m scanning volume
  • 112mm diameter probes with 1200mm and 2000mm focal length lenses
  • Small, 27mm diameter probes with 100mm and 160mm focal length lenses


Flow Measurement Apparatus

  • 3-component Dantec Constant Temperature Anemometer (hot wire) system, with automatic calibrator and selection of twin and tripe wire probes. A wire repair kit is available.
  • Five hole pressure probe (Aeroprobe).
  • ISSI Pressure Sensitive Paint (PSP) system incuding UV lights and cameras.
  • 32 channel ZOC valve for steady pressure measurement.
  • Small, 27mm diameter probes with 100mm and 160mm focal length lenses.
  • Six component load cells, including AMTI OR6-7 platform load cell (4.45kN Fz capacity), AMTI MC5 (5.5kN Fz capacity), AMTI MC36 (445N Fz capacity) and AMTI FS6 (440N Fz capacity) load cells. These can be mounted on the turntable system. We have two AMTI Gen5 load cell amplifier systems.
  • 32 channel strain gauge amplifier.
  • Multi-channel signal conditioning amplifiers (72 channel).
  • Traverse systems with ISEL controllers.
  • Various data acquisition systems. High channel count, 24-bit  simultaneous data acquisition at high sampling rate per channel is based around units manufactured by d-tAcq and are set up with a matlab interface and operate through the Local Area Network. Various National Instruments USB modules are available for the less demanding applications.


Flow Visualisation

  • High speed camera with stroboscope illumination.
  • Smoke wand and smoke generator.
  • LED floodlighting.
  • Digital stills cameras (Nikon).
  • Wide selection of camera lenses (Nikon and Canon).


Wind Tunnel Services

  • Compressed air system (8 bar), hydraulics power pack (210 bar up to 70 litres per minute) and hydraulic cylinder for fast response, high force dynamic motion application.
  • 3-phase power (32A and 64A).
  • There is a Local Area Network (ethernet) in the wind tunnel control room, and many of the systems communicate through this network.