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Undergraduate Research on Conceptual Design of a Wind Tunnel for Instructional Purposes

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Outreach, Engagement, and Undergraduate Research

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1390.1 - 25.1390.21



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Paper Authors


Peter John Arslanian NASA/Computer Sciences Corporation

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Peter John Arslanian currently holds an engineering position at Computer Sciences Corporation. He works as a Ground Safety Engineer supporting Sounding Rocket and ANTARES launch vehicles at NASA, Wallops Island, Va. He also acts as an Electrical Engineer supporting testing and validation for NASA’s Low Density Supersonic Decelerator vehicle. Arslanian has received an Undergraduate Degree with Honors in Engineering with an Aerospace Specialization from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES) in May 2011. Prior to receiving his undergraduate degree, he worked as an Action Sport Design Engineer for Hydroglas Composites in San Clemente, Calif., from 1994 to 2006, designing personnel watercraft hulls. Arslanian served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1993 as Lead Electronics Technician for the Automatic Carrier Landing System aboard the U.S.S. Independence CV-62, stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. During his enlistment, Arslanian was honored with two South West Asia Service Medals.

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Payam Matin University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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Payam Matin is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Matin has received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Oakland University, Rochester, Mich., in May 2005. He has taught a number of courses in the areas of mechanical engineering and aerospace at UMES. Matin’s research has been mostly in the areas of computational mechanics and experimental mechanics. Matin has published more than 20 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. Matin worked in auto-industry for Chrysler Corporation from 2005 to 2007.

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ON CONCEPTUAL DESIGN OF A WIND TUNNEL FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSES P. Arslanian, P. H. Matin Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, MD-21853, U.S.A.ABSTRACTSenior students in the engineering programs are challenged to thoroughly apply their learnedengineering knowledge and research skills toward design and implementation of a challengingsenior design project. A wind tunnel is often used in mechanical or aerospace engineeringprograms as a laboratory instrument to gather experimental data for investigation of fluid flowbehavior. The authors have involved students to conduct research to implement a comprehensivedesign of a small size wind tunnel for instructional purposes. The objective of this project is toengage the students 1) to design a well-structured wind tunnel model by means of fluidmechanics fundamentals and simulation software, 2) to develop wind tunnel experiments such asflow visualization, lift and drag measurement around different geometries including NACAairfoils. The wind tunnel designed is an open-loop circuit contained of three basic sections: thecontraction nozzle, the working or experiment section, and the diffuser nozzle. Fluid thrust isdelivered by an axial fan attached to the end of the diffuser nozzle. The geometric properties ofthe contraction nozzle and diffuser nozzle are obtained by fluid mechanics theories governing aconstant pressure decrease, or increase respectively. The working section is a duct of constantarea that maintains a uniform fluid velocity. The solid models of the contraction nozzle, workingsection and diffuser nozzle have been built for flow simulation. The performance of the windtunnel designed has been verified through CFD-based simulation. The data collected from thesimulation results indicate that a uniform laminar flow is maintained in the working section asdesired. Different testing models such as sphere and infinite wing have been included in thesimulation to characterize the performance of the wind tunnel during testing. The simulationresults are promising. Extensive engineering knowledge acquired throughout the course ofundergraduate study is applied. Significant experience in the design of wind tunnels has beengained throughout this undergraduate research.

Arslanian, P. J., & Matin, P. (2012, June), Undergraduate Research on Conceptual Design of a Wind Tunnel for Instructional Purposes Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22147

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