The Design and Construction of MIRA's Climatic Wind Tunnel 931957
Due to customer demand, the features list of motor vehicles for the next century will require manufacturers to design vehicles that not only keep up with exacting legislation changes, but also meet higher specifications combined with reduced product cycle times.
This paper outlines the development of MIRA's Climatic Wind Tunnel (CWT) as a commercially sponsored venture with total funding being generated within the Automobile Industry, and the effect that this sponsorship had on the fundamental design parameters.
The facility can provide air temperatures from -40°C to +55°C, and humidity from 5% to 95% with wind and road speeds up to 200km/h. Both solar and hot road radiation can be simulated. It can accommodate both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive vehicles and can absorb up to 300 kW of power at the road wheels.
The construction of the £4.5 million CWT project was project managed by MIRA's own Civils and Facility Departments and took 14 months to complete from start to finish. This was a complex project which required continuous cooperation between the building contractors and various mechanical and electrical suppliers during the implementation of the consultants technical specification.
The paper concludes by describing the range of tests that can be carried out in the CWT that will allow the industry to build better products at lower costs by providing repeatable, secure, climatic conditions at any time of the year without the need to travel to overseas locations.