What are UWAL and the Kirsten Wind Tunnel?
The Kirsten Wind Tunnel (KWT) is the informal name of the Kirsten Aeronautical Laboratory Building on the central University of Washington campus. UWAL, an auxiliary enterprise of the University of Washington, is the organization that runs KWT. UWAL was established in the 1930's with the aim that commercial revenue-testing would sustain operations. Eligible engineering undergraduates, studying fundamentals at UW's other two wind tunnels, could get practical experience if hired for operations and computing shifts at KWT, a policy that continues to this day. UWAL personnel can also support commercial tests utilizing other department facilities and equipment.
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Kirsten Wind Tunnel
The Kirsten Wind Tunnel is a subsonic, closed circuit, double return wind tunnel. The tunnel has a test section with a rectangular 8' x 12' cross-section that is 10 feet long. Two sets of 14' 9"-diameter seven-bladed propellers move the air up to 200 MPH through the test section. A computer-automated model positioning and data acquisition system ensures testing efficiency and precise measurements while a networked data reduction and plotting system allows for immediate data visibility. Most tests make use of KWT's six-component external balance. We also support high channel count Electronic Pressure Scanning (EPS) systems. For more detailed information, please see the Technical Guide to the Kirsten Wind Tunnel .
|Air Speeds||5-200 MPH (90 m/s, 295 ft/s)|
|Dynamic Pressures||0.07-100 psf|
|Flow Angularity||Upflow = -0.012°, Crossflow = 0.0°|
8' tall, 12' wide, 10' long (2.44x3.66x3.05m)
|External Balance Limits||
|Model Positioning||Fully automated pitch and yaw accurate to ±0.02°|
|Data Reduction||Semi-corrected plots of data available in real-time. A separate data set with final corrections is produced as appropriate with customer input.|
|Flow Visualizations||Smoke, oils, china clay, sublimation, UV minitufts|
|Electronic Pressure Scanning||Scanivalve EPS Modules: one 64-Port Dual Bank Module (±0.007psi) and one 32-Port Single Bank Module (±0.005psi)|
Scale-model Aircraft, Scale-model Ground Vehicles, UAV's, Bicycles, Motorcycles, Racing Yacht Keels
( **NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING ONLY!!!! )
Aero and Astro Dept. Water Tunnel and 3X3 LSWT
The UWAA Water Tunnel was removed from Guggenheim Hall 11Aug2015 and is no longer owned by UWAA. Hopefully it will be re-built at another UW location.
The 3X3 LSWT remains in service. UWAL has rarely supported commercial testing in the 3X3, since it is easier and more cost effective for us to host commercial testing at KWT. But if the nature of a given test is indeed best suited for the 3X3, then UWAL can assist with getting in contact with someone at UWAA who can help.
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