Imperial College London’s Department of Aeronautics has opened its new Hiru N Patel Supersonic Wind Tunnel for high-speed airflow, that will allow students and researchers to carry out fundamental and applied studies of airflow at speeds in the transonic (close to the speed of sound) and supersonic (greater than the speed of sound) ranges.
The wind tunnel is unique to Europe, with variable settings that allow for simulation of real-life flight conditions, including supersonic speed, heat and low pressure. Research conducted in the tunnel will have applications in fields such as military and civilian aircraft design. The tunnel can also replicate the atmospheric conditions on Mars for research into Martian/space vehicles.
The facility is supported by a $250,000 donation from Sanjay and Leslie Patel, in honour of Mr Patel’s late father and Imperial alumnus Dr Hiralal Patel (1919-2021). Mr and Mrs Patel, together with family and friends, joined members of the Imperial team for the launch.
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