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Princeton University

Aerolab Designs and Builds Princeton University’s Newest Wind Tunnel, Now Housed at the Gas Dynamics Lab

The Gas Dynamics Lab was renovated to house a new 54 ft (16.5 m) long, 22 ft (6.7m) wide Aerolab wind tunnel. The wind tunnel is part of the Bioinspired Adaptive Morphology (BAM) lab in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department.  

The wind tunnel experimentally evaluates avian and insect inspired flight systems. Current projects include: feather-inspired flow control devices for stall mitigation and lift enhancements, insect-inspired wings for micro-scale gliding robots, and feather-inspired control effectors for airborne energy harvesting platforms.  

The tunnel is equipped with state-of-the-art force and pressure acquisition systems and flow visualization and analysis instrumentation. The tunnel will support data collection on the physics mechanisms governing the flow around these non-conventional flight systems to design new bioinspired devices and answer key questions about flight in nature across scales.