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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R025118/1
Title: Purchase of Six Component Wind Tunnel Balance
Principal Investigator: Cooper, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Canagarajah, Professor N Theunissen, Dr R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Aerospace Engineering
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2018 Ends: 31 March 2021 Value (£): 754,995
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Aerodynamics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Dec 2017 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel December 2017 (2) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The University of Bristol is developing a state-of-the-art experimental Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) test Facility which will be unique to the UK and capable of measuring the static and dynamic behaviour of flexible structures in aerodynamic flows. Of particular importance will be the capability to capture simultaneously the structural deflections, the aerodynamic forces and the aerodynamic flow characteristics around the structure. Much of the hardware is in place to achieve this goal, apart from a six component wind tunnel balance which will enable the global (total) force and moments of the wind tunnel models to be measured; this proposal is aimed at providing the missing piece in the Facility. Although there are a number of wind tunnels of a similar type in the UK that possess a six component balance there are none that are set up specifically for FSI research, and the inclusion of gust vanes to generate controllable turbulent flows in the tunnel and a dynamic flight mechanics rig to enable model aircraft to be flown in the tunnel make the Facility unique.

It is proposed to purchase a six component overhead, fully digital, wind tunnel balance (WTB) which will be used to accurately measure forces (x,y,z axes) and moments (relating to x,y,z axes) that are experienced by scaled models in the University of Bristol's 7' x 5' wind tunnel due to both the aerodynamic flow and gust fields. The upgrade to a six component balance will enable full measurement of combined aerodynamic and structural forces/moments resulting from the Fluid Structure Interactions (FSI) of wing and aircraft models, complementing recent additions to the tunnel (multi degree of freedom flight mechanics rig and gust vanes).

The WTB will be a key component of a world-leading experimental FSI Facility that is able to support innovative blue sky and industrially relevant research both at the University of Bristol, across the UK's academic community and also for industrial users. It is intended that 30% of the time available to use the tunnel will be made available for external users from industry and academia. The unique capabilities of the Facility, being able to not only make simultaneous aerodynamic and structural measurements, but also to create turbulent (gusty) flow fields and to "fly" aircraft models in the flow, would make it an extremely attractive Facility for industry to use. The vision for the Facility, with the WTB as its key central component, is to develop a world-renowned experimental resource for FSI across the fields of aerospace, wind power (wind turbine blades), Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and wind engineering (bridges and tall buildings). By gaining accurate FSI measurements to validate numerical models and understand the physics of the structural and aerodynamic interactions, it will be possible to design more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft and UAVs, wind turbines and wind-resilient tall buildings and bridges.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk