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MIE.25 – Collapsible Subsonic Wind Tunnel

Team Members Heading link

  • Barbara Beltran
  • Bashir El-Zakhem
  • Joel Jexie
  • Connor Kosowski
  • Peter Nikurs
  • Daniel Ochoa

Project Description Heading link

UIC student organizations compete in multiple international competitions that require aerodynamic analysis. Unfortunately, UIC does not currently have a large scale or fully functional wind tunnel for student organizations to analyze their designs. Given the space constraints on campus, our team was tasked with designing and constructing a collapsible, subsonic wind tunnel. A typical open loop wind tunnel consists of 4 main components: a flow straightener, a contraction cone, a testing section, and a diffuser. Our team designed, analyzed, and validated each component through ANSYS Workbench software using fluid and static structural simulations. With these results, we designed a simple 4 component structure that can collapse by means of a compartmentalized and detachable T-slot exoskeleton with acrylic walls. The collapsible square-patterned flow straightener allows for negligible turbulence within the 3’x3’x3′ testing section. The final design of the wind tunnel is something that can be disassembled and reassembled with ease, can sustain varying high wind speeds upwards of 15 m/s, and is simple enough to be built, stored, and transported efficiently with only two people. The team also has considered the implications of incorporating a high-powered fan in correspondence with our current design choices to eventually produce a fully operational wind tunnel.