Hidden Georgia Tech: The Wind Tunnel
Across the Georgia Tech campus, hidden spaces and forgotten places await rediscovery. Some are relics of an earlier time, difficult to find and explore. Others are very much in view, but often overlooked. Hidden Georgia Tech is a photo essay series highlighting places on campus that are hidden in plain sight.
THE JOHN J. HARPER WIND TUNNEL
Located on the ground floor of the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering’s Guggenheim Building, the low-speed wind tunnel is a state-of-the-art facility for experimental research. Over the years, aerospace researchers have used this laboratory to test and/or develop a wide range of products including radar antennae, stadium lights, laser scanners for cash registers, delta wings, rotor blades, business jets, fighter planes, the NASA X-38 Crew Return Vehicle, parafoils, and the soil scoop arm for NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover. Five awards under the highly competitive Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, among other projects, have kept the tunnel at the leading edge of diagnostics capabilities for basic research.
The wind tunnel operates entirely on sponsored research projects. Recent projects include Army/NASA/Navy studies to improve the speed and safety of carrying slung loads under helicopters, enable helicopter flight at high speeds, understand fin vibrations on fighter planes at a high angle of attack, as well as a NASA project to improve the ability of future aerospace engineers to learn to innovate across several disciplines. Take a look inside.
John J. Harper Wind Tunnel Photo Gallery
Photos by Rob Felt
Since 1985, more than 300 students, including over 200 undergraduates, have used research experience at the tunnel as a springboard to government and industry positions. They have won numerous PURA (President’s Undergraduate Research Awards) and other awards, including Georgia Tech’s Sigma Xi Outstanding PhD Thesis awards four times, and participated in over 400 publications.