Low Speed Wind Tunnel hosts 45th International Subsonic Aerodynamic Testing Association Conference

June 4, 2009
| By: Aubrey Bloom

The Oran W. Nicks Low Speed Wind Tunnel (OWN LSWT) at Texas A&M University will host the 45th International Subsonic Aerodynamic Testing Association (SATA) conference beginning Sunday and running through June 12. The OWN LSWT is a part of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). The wind tunnel is located across from the general aviation terminal at Easterwood Airport. Engineers from Asia, Europe, South Africa and North America will meet to exchange knowledge, ideas and processes used for the operation and maintenance of Low Speed Wind Tunnels. The conference will include presentations by the various representatives as well as tours of A&M laboratory and testing facilities. SATA started in 1965 and the OWN LSWT is a charter member. The OWN LSWT, which was built in the mid 1940s, last hosted the conference in 1983. An upgrade on the tunnel was started in the late 1950s and it opened in its current state in 1960. The main parts of the wind tunnel have not changed, but all the controls and data acquisition have been modernized to state-of-the-art technology. The LSWT is in the center of the new wind tunnel complex, which supports research by faculty and students in aerospace. Low speed wind tunnels are used to test the aerodynamic characteristics of objects and were started mainly as a tool for airplane design. They still fill this role, but have expanded to test spacecraft, missiles, cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, oil platforms, buildings, outdoor structures and even golf clubs and golf balls.

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