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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L024888/1
Title: National Wind Tunnel Facility
Principal Investigator: Morrison, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Green, Dr R McGilvray, Dr M Ganapathisubramani, Professor B
Garry, Professor K Ireland, Professor P Babinsky, Professor H
Atkin, Professor CJ Coton, Professor F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Aeronautics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 January 2014 Ends: 31 December 2019 Value (£): 13,296,938
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Environment
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Dec 2013 EPSRC National Wind Tunnel Facility Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There are presently about 150 wind tunnels in the UK of which roughly 75 are in the university sector. Owing to the dual funding structure of research in UK, these receive government support through a HEFCE teaching budget as well as from funding councils, industry and overseas agencies. This proposal relates to those facilities funded essentially, but not exclusively by research, and not those retained principally to support the teaching mission of individual universities. The basis of the National Facility model is primarily to focus resource on (1) fewer 'outward-facing' national facilities open to all UK-based researchers; (2) institutions demonstrating a symbiosis of facility and expertise and prepared to demonstrate best practice; (3) institutions that demonstrate a clear, on-going commitment to these national facilities. The number of partners in this proposal has been selected to cover a range of strategic facilities, and to match potential take-up of national facilities by researchers working in most areas of experimental aerodynamics primarily within EPSRC's remit. The National Facility will support research addressing multi-sectoral problems, although there is a clear focus on the aerospace sector. The proposal includes low- and high-speed flows (Mach numbers in excess of about 0.6) and justifies a subset of facilities of national importance to form the National Wind Tunnel Facility based at seven institutions.

In the low-speed regime, relevant to transport (road and marine), geophysical flows, urban environment, sport, and wind energy applications, the medium-scale facilities Cranfield, IC and Southampton form the basis of key innovation. These facilities will address such problems as drag reduction, vortex-induced vibration, aeroelasticity, gust unsteadiness, and dispersion in the urban environment. Laser-based instrumentation features strongly in these facilities (e.g. particle-image velocimetry, laser vibrometry) as well as high-fidelity force balances. A guiding principle is that these facilities should offer complementarity in terms of the types of experiment they will support: thus while Cranfield will support high-quality force measurements, IC and Southampton will provide expertise in new techniques such as tomographic reconstruction of PIV data. The low-turbulence tunnel at City is of international renown, being one of only three such tunnels in the world that can match atmospheric free-stream turbulence levels appropriate for transition research. The de Havilland tunnel at Glasgow will be supported to maintain pitch/heave capability with gust generation.

Owing to its significant contribution to the UK's GDP, it is essential that the UK maintains its dominant position in the aerospace sector, through the stimulation of innovation via university research in high-speed flows. Trans/supersonic tunnels at Cambridge, City and IC offer a unique blend of facilities and expertise to support UK aerospace in such areas as shock-wave/boundary-layer interaction. Ground breaking research in hypersonic flows is currently underway at Oxford and IC. These facilities enable research across a range of high-speed regimes and, together with high-speed laser diagnostics, will allow UK researchers to tackle future sector-relevant problems.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk