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The University of Southampton

SESA6070 Experimental Methods for Aerodynamics

Module Overview

This module is aimed at students who will be performing aerodynamic or fluid mechanic experiments in their individual project, group design project and/or in their research project. The student will gain insight on the problem associated with design, setup and execution of experimental methods pertinent to aerodynamics/fluid mechanics. The most important and up-to-date measurement techniques will be presented. The student will develop a practical knowledge and capability to perform measurements in dedicated facilities aimed at studying fundamental problems in aerodynamics/fluid mechanics.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Introduce major types of aerodynamic test facilities (D1, EL10M)
  • State-of-the-art measurement technology and its applicability and limitations (SM1m, EA1m, P12M)
  • Different statistical analysis tools as well as data manipulation methods and computational analyses (SM2m, SM5m, EA3m)
  • Introduce aspects of experiment design and associated uncertainties. (P8)
  • Experiment-conception and design to address problems in fluid mechanics (SM6m, SM9M, P10m, EL13M)
  • Exposure to different measurement techniques, their viability and limitations in examining fluid flows (EA3m, EA6M)
  • Introduce tools for analysis of fluid flows (SM3m)
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the principles and working of experimental methods (SM1m, SM7M)
  • Collect data using different experimental methods (EA7M)
  • Analyse data obtained via experiments using various statistical tools (SM2m, EA2)
  • Appreciate strengths and weaknesses of methods used to measure fluid flows and awareness of emerging technologies (SM8M, EA5m, P9m)
  • Quantify the accuracy of the measurements performed and awareness of codes of best practice (D2, D9M, EL8M, EL12M)
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Study and learn independently including engaging with technical literature (P2m, P4)
  • Design and develop experimental setups (P1, P3, P10m, G1)
  • Demonstrate study and time management skills (G2, G3, G4)


• Introduction to major types of experimental facilities • Experimental planning and Statistical design • Calibration and uncertainty analysis • Flow visualisation • Sensors for aerodynamics measurements – requirements and types • Pressure measurements – static, stagnation, unsteady and acoustic array • Force measurements – steady and unsteady • Hot-wire anemometry • Temperature and heat-transfer measurements – thermocouples, surface gauges and optical • methods • Laser Doppler velocimetry • Particle Image velocimetry • Planar laser induced flourescence • Schlieren and Shadowgraphs • Data analysis

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, Labs. Supporting material on Blackboard and Library webpage.

Follow-up work14
Supervised time in studio/workshop6
Wider reading or practice12
Completion of assessment task72
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Repeat Type: Internally (due to coursework based on lab attendance)


Coursework & Labs


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: SESA2022

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