Research Highlights

Plane in Kristen Wind TunnelKirsten Wind Tunnel »
The University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory (UWAL) uses the facilities of the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics for aeronautical testing for companies, individuals, and governments. Revenue generated by commercial testing helps fund undergraduate use of the facilities and research. Aircraft, automotives, sporting equipment and other items have been tested in the primary facility, the Kristen Wind Tunnel.
Student in AFSL labDeveloping Unmanned Missions »
Managing groups of robots and vehicles without the need for human interaction will become more common and necessary in many future applications. Professor Juris Vagners’ work at the Autonomous Flight Systems Laboratory looks at developing algorithms for unmanned missions involving search and rescue, path planning, collision avoidance, and other functions. The lab is currently working closely with Boeing and flying multiple autonomous systems such as helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
Kristi Morgansen with RobofishRobofish (Fin Actuated Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) »
Schools of fish and herds of animals can maneuver smoothly and in unison. Kristi Morgansen, associate professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and adjunct professor of electrical engineering, asks, "How are they doing it? " and getting results in the lab. Her team has built three Robofish that communicate with one another underwater.
Tom Jarboe with HITSIPowering Future Space Missions »
Magnetic Confinement Fusion as a future energy source is the focus of the HIT-SI Plasma Experiment, being conducted by Professor Thomas Jarboe's research team. The HIT-SI device is an innovative approach to creating and sustaining a spheromak plasma. If successful, such fusion energy has the  potential to power even long distance space missions.
Fluids Surface DeformationFluid Imaging Diagnostics »
How can we quantitatively visualize the movements of fluids? Dana Dabiri's Fluid Dynamics Research Facility has developed novel implementations of 2D and 3D digital particle tracking velocimetry (2DPTV & 3DPTV) system that allows for high-resolution closeup measurements of fluid flows and microflow measurements. The former will be used towards further understanding turbulence and its modeling, while the latter will be used towards scientific investigations of various microflows.
Thumbnail of X-pinch graphZ-Pinch Experiment »
Plasmas have applications in the propulsion of spacecraft. Uri Shumlak's ZaP experiment is particularly well-suited to this application. Since a possible Z-Pinch thruster requires no externally applied magnetic field, the weight and size requirements of a such a vehicle are drastically lower than other plasma configurations would require.