Altitude icing wind tunnel

Contact us

To discuss your project or find out more about how we can support your business, contact:

Matthew Tobin
Telephone: 613-990-0765
Email: Matthew.Tobin@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Targeted industries

Aerospace.

Location

The NRC altitude icing wind tunnel is capable of meeting all your icing certification and research needs, with a proven track record of providing high-quality repeatable results to clients. The tunnel's comparatively small test section, combined with its relatively high-speed capabilities, make it particularly suitable and efficient for the testing of instrumentation and viewing of the microphysical processes of ice accretion. Its ability to simulate flight at altitudes as high as 40,000 ft makes this facility a unique icing wind tunnel.

Image of Pitot tube testing in the altitude icing wind tunnel

Pitot tube testing in the altitude icing wind tunnel.

The facility supports research organizations and commercial clients with:

  • Development, testing and certification of aircraft ice detection and air data probes;
  • Development, testing or calibration of aircraft or cloud physics instrumentation;
  • Development and testing of de-icing and anti-icing systems;
  • Evaluation of ice accretion on non-protected aircraft components;
  • Evaluation of instrumentation for wind-turbine industry;
  • Validation of numerical ice accretion codes; and
  • Studies on basic physical processes leading to ice accretion.
Image of Researchers record experiments through digital video and thermography

Researchers record experiments through digital video and thermography.

Our world-leading experts provide skilled and experienced professional and technical support in all aspects of icing wind tunnel testing including test design, model design and fabrication, instrumentation, test management, through to report preparation. Our expertise also encompasses icing tunnel testing techniques, customized data processing and computational fluid dynamics simulations. Test results from the facility have been accepted by certification authorities such as Transport Canada, the US FAA and EASA.

Technical specifications

Standard working section:

  • Size: 57 cm high x 57 cm wide x 183 cm long (22.5 in x 22.5 in x 72 in)
  • Air velocity: 5 to 100 m/s (Mach 0.015 to 0.53)

Reduced working section:

  • Size: 33 cm high x 52 cm wide x 60 cm long (13 in x 20.5 in x 24 in) (with insert)
  • Air velocity: 8 to 180 m/s (Mach 0.025 to 0.53)

Aerodynamic and thermal conditions:

  • Velocity spatial uniformity variation < ±1%
  • Static air temperature (at max. velocity): -40°C to +30°C (-40°F to 86°F)
  • Static air temperature spatial uniformity variation < 0.5 °C
  • Flow angularity < 0.25° in pitch and yaw
  • Turbulence intensity < 0.9%
  • Altitude simulation: ground to 12.2 km (40,000 ft)

Icing conditions:

  • Liquid water content (at max. velocity): 0.1 to 2.5 g/m3 (0.1 to 3.5 g/m3 with insert)
  • Droplet median volume diameter: 8 to 200 μm
  • Bi-model spray distribution for freezing drizzle SLD conditions
  • Ice crystal conditions up to median volume diameters of 100 μm (liquid nitrogen injection system)

Data system and instrumentation:

  • Software: Capable of providing customized configurations and software tools for clients
  • Model mounts: Custom mounting to test section panels, yaw turntable system and two-axis traverser system
  • Pressure measurements: Multiple channel high-speed pressure scanning system and multiple individual pressure sensors
  • Temperature measurements: Multiple thermocouple and RTD inputs
  • Data acquisition: AS5562 compliant 20Hz data output, high-speed multiple channel analog inputs available
  • Videography: four channels of digital HD video to Blue-Ray with video overlay

Auxiliary Services:

  • AC power:
    • 105 to 125 V, 1 Phase, 400 Hz; 1000 VA
    • 575 V, 3 Phase, 60 Hz; 30 A
    • 220 V, 1 Phase, 60 Hz; 20 A
    • 110 V, 1 Phase, 60 Hz; 20 A
  • DC power:
    • 15 to 36 V; 100 A
    • 0 to 40 V; 30 A
    • 28 V; 8 A
  • Heated Compressed air: Up to 115 g/s (200 SCFM) at 800 kPa (115 psig) and 350°C (575ºF)