Performance Testing in DTF Wind Tunnel No. 8 2004-01-3549
Since being commissioned in 2001, the aero-acoustic wind tunnel at DTF, Wind Tunnel 8 (WT8) has been used to conduct a wide variety of tests. In 2003 alone, over 5250 hours of aerodynamic and aero-acoustic testing were run on over 2000 test articles, including commercial cars, trucks and racing vehicles. Additionally, more unique test articles such as solar cars, motorcycles, Olympic sleds, and others have also been recently tested. The demand for WT8 is driven by the fact that it is among the quietest wind tunnels in the world and one of a very small number of facilities that combines aerodynamic, aero-acoustic, and climatic capabilities in one facility.
To enhance WT8's ability to meet the ever-increasing demands of the testing community, and the Motorsports community specifically, an effort was recently initiated to optimize and document the repeatability of aerodynamic force measurements in this tunnel. All aspects of the testing process were evaluated, including tunnel instrumentation, vehicle preparation, installation, setup, and data acquisition methodology. These evaluations resulted in several enhancements to the facility. Reproducibility of drag coefficients was demonstrated to be within ±0.002 at the 95% confidence level across multiple vehicle configurations during tests conducted over nearly one year.
Several performance/racing vehicle tests were performed in the past year using both the standard and high speed tunnel configurations. Data from repeatability, reproducibility, and performance tests, coupled with the facility enhancements, demonstrate that DTF Wind Tunnel 8 is a viable option for high speed aerodynamic testing of Motorsports and other performance vehicles.