U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

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Aerodynamics Laboratory Facilities, Equipment, and Capabilities


The following facilities, equipment, and capabilities are available in the Aerodynamics Laboratory Facilities and Equipment

(1) Subsonic, open-jet wind tunnel with 1.8-meter (m) by-1.8-m (6-foot (ft) by 6 ft) cross section and a 13.4 m/s (44 ft/s) speed range (Figure 1).

This image shows two engineers standing in front of a wind tunnel, which measures 1.8-meters by 1.8 meters (6 feet by 6 feet).  The engineers are mounting a model bridge deck in front of the wind tunnel.
Figure 1. Subsonic, open-jet wind tunnel.

(2)Subsonic, closed-circuit wind tunnel with 25.5-cm by 25.5-cm (10 in by 10 in) cross section and a 40.2 m/s (132 ft/s) speed range.

(3)Two-DOF (degrees of freedom), large-scale, active-turbulence generator (computer controlled).

(4)Three-DOF motor-driven sensor traverse system (2.4 m by 2.4 m (8 ft by 8 ft), computer-controlled).

(5)A three-component, high-frequency, dual force-balance system.

(6)A six-component high-frequency (tower) base force-balance system.

(7)1.8-m- (6-ft-) diameter, motor-driven turntable (computer-controlled).

(8)Two high-speed, pressure-scanning systems with a total of 256 pressure ports.

(9)Two high-speed data acquisition systems for lab use (average 64 channels per system).

(10)Thermo-Systems Inc. (TSI) hot-wire and hot-film velocity sensors.

(11)Pitot-static velocity probes (various configurations) and numerous stand-alone pressure transducers (various ranges).

(12)Thirteen non-contact laser transducers to measure displacement.

(13)Extensive bridge and highway structures model inventory.

(14)Bridge plan and drawings library.

(15)Unique wind engineering and bridge aerodynamics reference library.

(16)Extensive laboratory and field study data archives.

(17)Two parallel rigid test frames for model installation.

(18)Several office workstations and laptops for field data analysis.

(19)Several portable data acquisition systems.

(20)Extensive inventory of wind instruments, accelerometers, strain gauges, and other sensors for field testing and structural monitoring.


Capabilities of the Aerodynamics Laboratory

(1)Instrument design.

(2)Computer simulation and analysis.

(3)Structural analysis.

(4)Full-scale testing and analysis.

(5)Wind tunnel experiments (especially fit for bridge applications).

(6)Long-term monitoring of structural and wind conditions.


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101