What is the National Wind Tunnel Facility?
Using a facility of the NWTF
Facilities included in the initiative
Governance of the NWTF
The National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF) (EPSRC grant EP/L024888/1) is a new initiative in which 17 tunnels distributed across seven UK universities (host institutions) are made open access (for up to 25% of time) to external users, both university and industry based. The scheme which is aimed at keeping the UK at the forefront of aerodynamic and fluid mechanics research was announced on 9th January 2014 by David Willetts, Minister for Science and Universities. Total funding of £13.3 million, (£10.7 million coming from EPSRC and £2.6 million from the UK Aerodynamics Centre) has been invested in the refurbishment of some existing facilities, new hardware and brand new facilities.
The original criteria for selection of wind tunnels to be included in NWTF were:
Future revisions of which wind tunnels are included in NWTF would assess candidate wind tunnels against these same criteria, with a consideration of the overall balance of tunnel capabilities.
The NWTF aims at keeping the UK at the forefront of aerodynamic and fluid mechanics research. Recognising that the UK has a world-class talent base, the decision to fund the NWTF was taken to match this talent base to world-class facilities. The paradigm shift provided by NWTF is expected to provide for an overall transformative benefit, establish a world-leading capability while being cost-effective and appealing to multiple sectors. The enhanced UK capability in experimental aerodynamics is available to all UK-based researchers and aims to create nodes of excellence attracting young researchers. The NWTF also aims to establish a closer tie with industry creating a pull-through environment and an intended spill-over of the collaboration and benefits to other sectors.
The NWTF is open for business. Researchers interested in making use of one of the facilities listed in the table below and in the Facilities section will be expected to open a dialogue with the NWTF personnel at an early stage of the formulation of a proposal to ensure that Facility capabilities are best matched to the proposer’s research ideas. This is especially important for new users.
A Technical Annex (TA) (download by clicking here) would need to be completed and sent to NWTF Project Manager Dr Kevin Gouder at email@example.com so that discussions with the Wind Tunnel Managers / Owners at the host institutions can start and the time, facility, equipment and support allocated accordingly (a copy of the TA is included at the end of this document too). A brief abstract description of the proposed research needs to be completed in the TA and submitted with any supporting documentation deemed necessary. Completion of this TA will imply permission for user details to be stored in the NWTF and EPSRC’s databases and to be used for mailing, accounting, reporting and other administrative purposes.
Visits to the Facility to discuss how to enable the technical and scientific aspirations of the user and to meet the personnel involved will normally be required. Potential Intellectual Property (IP) will be identified and recorded at this stage in an IP-register and plans put in place for appropriate protection. Where required, non-disclosure agreements will be offered to and signed with potential users. Note that the proposal is not assessed at this stage (this is the responsibility of the funding agency/research council) but the description would help in identifying the right facility, the right equipment and the right level of support required to make the proposed research succeed. EPSRC-funded proposals would be given top priority when it comes to agreeing usage of the wind tunnel and accompanying equipment.
This is a summary of the procedures to use a facility of the NWTF:
Further information about each facility can be found in the Facilities section further down.
|Cambridge||Supersonic Tunnels 1 & 2, (TS1, TS2)||Transonic/supersonic; open return / blow down: two identical facilities|
|City||Transonic/Supersonic T5 Tunnel (TS3)||Transonic / Supersonic closed return, induction driven|
|City||Low Turbulence Wind Tunnel (LS1)||Low Speed closed return|
|Cranfield||Low Speed 8x6 Wind Tunnel (LS2)||Low Speed closed return|
|Cranfield||Low Speed 8x4 Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel (LS3)||Low Speed open return|
|Cranfield||Low Speed Icing Tunnel (LS4)||Low Speed closed return|
|Glasgow||Low Speed 9x7 Wind Tunnel (LS5)||Low Speed closed return|
|Imperial||Low Speed 10x5 Low Speed Wind Tunnel (LS6)||Low Speed closed return|
|Imperial||Supersonic Wind tunnel (TS4)||Intermittent hybrid blow-down / suck-down arrangement|
|Imperial||Hypersonic Gun tunnel (HS1)||Hypersonic Intermittent impulsive facility|
|Oxford||T6 Free Piston Reflected Shock Tunnel (HS2)||Hypersonic Intermittent blowdown|
|Oxford||Low Density tunnel (HS3)||Hypersonic rarefied flow|
|Oxford||High Density tunnel (HS4)||Hypersonic Heated Ludwieg tube|
|Southampton||R.J. Mitchell Wind Tunnel (LS7)||Low speed, closed return|
|Southampton||Anechoic Wind Tunnel (LS8)||Anechoic Wind Tunnel|
|Southampton||Hydroscience Tank (LS9)||Towing and wave tank|
The NWTF has a Management Board (MB) that meets approximately every 3 months. This is composed of a Principal Investigator from each of the current host institutions and the NWTF Project Manager. The current MB members are Professor Holger Babinsky (University of Cambridge), Professor Chris Atkin (City University), Professor Kevin Garry (Cranfield University), Dr Richard Green (University of Glasgow), Professor Jonathan Morrison (Imperial College), Professor Peter Ireland (University of Oxford), Professor Bharathram Ganapathisubramani (University of Southampton) and Dr Kevin Gouder (NWTF Project Manager). An Advisory Board (AB) oversees the broader aims of the NWTF, monitors the running of the NWTF and reviews progress versus Key Performance Indicators. The AB is composed of representatives from EPSRC, ATI, senior academics (from the UK and abroad), representatives from industry, an existing National Facility Manager and is chaired by an independent senior UK-based aerodynamicist. The current NWTF programme has a duration of 5 years. A mid-term review will review the progress made during the first two and a half years.
Organised by institution (click on the institution name for further information)
Organised by kind (click on the facility kind for further information)
If you are interested in using any of the facilities in the NWTF, or would like to contact any of the Principal Investigators, please contact the National Wind Tunnel Facility Project Manager, Dr Kevin Gouder.