Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Utilizing an educational-purpose wind tunnel, a data acquisition system through LabVIEW was created to experimentally analyze the aerodynamic forces experienced by objects in uniform external flow by automatically performing trials and interpreting electrical measurement signals. To verify experimental results from pressure distribution data around an object, a force balance was designed to mount objects stationarily in the wind tunnel test section while directly measuring the total lift and drag forces, calculating the pitching moment (for airfoils), and monitoring the angle of attack. The force balance design includes three load cells, one for measuring drag force and two for measuring total lift force as well as the moment about the leading edge, that are programmed through Arduino software and hardware. The angle of attack for airfoils is monitored by an accelerometer that communicates electrical signals to LabVIEW. Successful data acquisition adequately supported by theoretical and numerical models of external flow along with credible explanation of sources of error may promote implementation of the experimental setup as a laboratory experiment for future WKU students and funding for a more capable wind tunnel to conduct significant, innovative experiments.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Manohar Chidurala, Ph.D.


Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics | Engineering