Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ames NASATweetup-Wind Tunnels

Here’s a continuing post regarding the NASTweetup at Ames Research Facility. The wind tunnels was probably my favorite part of the tour of the Ames Research Facility. It was definitely the part that I could relate to the most. At Ames there is about 25 wind tunnels from very small to gigantic. We got to tour the building with some smaller wind tunnels. The first wind tunnel we saw was the Lifesaver, or at least that what I’m calling it based on the paint job it’s got.

NASATweetupAmes 072

Sitting right next to the Lifesaver was Blue.

NASATweetupAmes 073

And then we went into another room with another wind tunnel. The tour guide, a NASA Mechanical Engineer, said this was the favorite one in the building because they could climb into it.

NASATweetupAmes 074

NASATweetupAmes 075

Within the room they has some of the items they have tested in the wind tunnel. Below is a picture of a ship.

NASATweetupAmes 077

Set up in the the wind tunnel was a Cosine cone (or it may have been a sine cone). It is either a cosine (or cosine) wave, then rotated 360 degrees to get the shape. WIth the cone they can then calibrate the wind tunnel and observe how the wind effects it. 

NASATweetupAmes 078

They also can put oil or pressure sensitive paint on it to see how the wind is going around the cone. The flow of air is laminar as it approaches and goes on the cone, then starts to become turbulent as it leaves the cone. They described some of the methods they use to observe the wind. With the smoke trails we’ve seen in commercials to the pressure sensitive paint.

The tour guide told us about some of the forces that affect wind tunnels. One of them is the friction between the wind and the sides of the wind tunnel. Using tube of plastic, we were able to hear the turbulence. Here’s a picture of someone doing just that.

NASATweetupAmes 079

A picture of a crane in the room of wind tunnels.

NASATweetupAmes 080

A picture of the Blue wind tunnel with a model of a dirty corvette. The setup was used in an episode of Mythbuster’s were they were testing if a dirty car got better gas mileage.

NASATweetupAmes 081

Here’s a blury picture of the another model used in the episode. If the picture came out clear you’d be able to see the divet like marks on a golf ball.

NASATweetupAmes 083

Here’s the results from the car experiments. I’m sure in the episode they had a cool computer graphic.

NASATweetupAmes 084

Here is a collection of some of the other models.

NASATweetupAmes 085

Here’s picture of the setup a bit farther away.

NASATweetupAmes 086

As we drove around the facility were able to see some of the other wind tunnels on the facility.

NASATweetupAmes 094NASATweetupAmes 095

The photos below are of one wind tunnel. The wind tunnel is large enough to test a full size 747.

NASATweetupAmes 093NASATweetupAmes 092NASATweetupAmes 100NASATweetupAmes 099NASATweetupAmes 091NASATweetupAmes 089NASATweetupAmes 090

No comments:

Post a Comment