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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton wind tunnels

R.J. Mitchell tunnel

The R. J. Mitchell wind tunnel is a large and extensively equipped low-speed wind tunnel with a 3.5 m x 2.4 m (11’x 8’) working section, with moving ground and a maximum wind speed of 40 m/s. It is ideally suited for vehicle aerodynamic work but is also equipped with a Nutem overhead 6-component balance, surface pressure scanning and PIV system for optical measurements of the airflow.

The DECODE UAV being tested by a PhD student
UAV in the Mitchell tunnel

This closed circuit, closed jet tunnel has been used extensively for Formula One and Indy Car race development work, for which it is very well equipped. It is also suitable for a wide range of aerodynamic tests and has been used to simulate flows on underwater bodies.

Working section (11’x 8’)
3.5m wide x 2.4m high x 10.5m long
Wind speed range from 4 to 40m/s with less than 0.2% turbulence
Air chiller to control airflow temperature to 19 °C

6-component Nutem load cell balance in tunnel roof with turntable
6-component strut mounted Aerotech balance for vehicle tests

Moving ground
Belt 1.95m wide x 4.0m long with a speed range up to 40 m/s
Boundary layer control gives >99.8% of free stream velocity 2mm above belt

Model scales
Suitable for up to 50% race car models

Other equipment
Pi Research Ltd Mistral wind tunnel control and acquisition system
Motor drive systems for propeller testing

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