Enabling Technologies for Scientific Innovation through Sensor Development (University of New Hampshire)
Teams of University of New Hampshire (UNH) undergraduate students designed and built the supporting infrastructure for the Flow Physics Facility (FPF), the world's largest boundary layer wind tunnel. Projects included a three-meter diameter computer-controlled turntable, a prototype drag plate to measure surface skin friction in the tunnel, and hot-wire sensors with a measurement volume of half a millimeter.
The wind tunnel will advance our understanding of the high Reynolds number boundary layers that are present on ships and aircraft, and are the primary contributor to drag. Student-driven design and development of the needed infrastructure allowed the FPF to include additional features and give students hands-on experience in scientific instrument production.
The investigation of high Reynolds number boundary layers is vital to understanding air and water flow over cars, airplanes and ships, but also the flow of wind over the Earth's surface. The tunnel makes accurate measurements of high Reynolds number possible because of its 72-meter length. Two 400-horsepower fans, each moving 250,000 cubic feet of air per minute, can generate a wind of approximately 28 miles per hour in the facility.
Vacuum chamber simulates atmospheric conditions.Research Areas: Physics, Astronomy & Space Locations: New Hampshire
Scientists are using a combination of high-resolution video, thermal imagery, Doppler radar, infrasound and seismology data to study the uplift, eruption history and magma dynamics of the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala.Research Areas: Earth & Environment, Engineering Locations: North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico