2 m × 3 m wind tunnel

The 2 m × 3 m wind tunnel is a world-class facility for subsonic aeronautical and industrial testing. It has been used extensively by commercial organizations, universities and government for research and development in the areas of steady and unsteady aircraft aerodynamics, surface vehicle aerodynamics, marine hydrodynamics, aeroacoustics, wind-engineering and wind-energy generation.

Our capabilities

The NRC's Aerospace Research Centre researchers and experts continually pioneer specialized test rigs, flow simulations and measurement techniques to augment the tunnel's capabilities. They also have proven capabilities in model design, construction and instrumentation; appropriate test program selection; and data analysis and interpretation.

The 2 m × 3 m wind tunnel provides a superior and secure working environment for commercial or government clients at a single, all-inclusive, hourly fee. Experts provide a full range of consulting services to support any aerodynamic investigation at competitive commercial rates. Integrated data acquisition and control systems complement the aerodynamic capabilities of the facility and are tailored to the needs of each client. Carefully performed wind tunnel measurements are the cornerstone of cost-effective design when subsonic and unsteady aerodynamics are important.

Areas of expertise also include:

  • aeroacoustic measurements
  • aerodynamic stability and structural response
  • static and aeroelastic wind tunnel model design
  • sports aerodynamics
  • vehicle and structure dynamics
  • all aspects of wind tunnel test technology, including flow visualization and instrumentation

Why work with us

The NRC has recognized expertise in wind tunnel correction methodologies, pressure-sensitive paint technology, model deformation measurement capability and flow mapping. Our world-renowned team includes aerodynamicists, flight engineers and business experts that will support your research initiatives with professional services and industry know-how. Working in our unique facilities to test, validate and demonstrate your product provides a controlled environment to de-risk new and experimental products with reliable data that will be critical in the large-scale or commercial development of your product.

We also have prominent competencies in:

  • aeroacoustic measurement, testing and evaluation, which can determine three dimensional sound fields generated by a model in a wind tunnel
  • flight vehicle aerodynamics
  • ground vehicle and ground-based structures aerodynamics
  • icing formation, detection and mitigation, including a significant capability to experimentally and numerically study the effects of icing on the performance of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and cables
  • sports aerodynamics, preparing athletes with critical data that can maximize speed and performance


Tunnel geometry:

  • test section: 1.9 m × 2.7 m × 5.2 m
  • test section area:
    • standard: 5.07 m2
    • groundboard: variable height
  • contraction ratio: 9:1

Tunnel characteristics:

  • fan power: 1.5 MW
  • maximum speed: 130 m/s
  • speed uniformity: ±0.7%
  • turbulence level: 0.14%
  • longitudinal static pressure gradient:
    • standard: negligible
    • groundboard: 0.0044 Cp/m

Auxiliary Systems:

  • compressed air: up to 2,000 kPa
    • dew point (40°C): 2.7 kg/s
    • undried: 5.0 kg/s
  • model supports:
    • 3-D steady state: 3 point and single strut supports
    • 3-D unsteady: sting
    • 2-D steady state: upper air bearing
  • flow traverse rigs: several, automated
  • acoustic liner: anechoic above 400 Hz

Main balance:

  • measurement accuracy: ±0.1% to ±0.05% full-scale
  • maximum model weight: 450 kg
  • lift, drag, side force (kN): ±6.7, ±2.3, ±4.4
  • pitch, yaw, roll (kN m): ±2.7, ±2.7, ±2.7

Data system and instrumentation:

  • A/D channels: 24 and 16 bit @ 100 kHz, custom configurations
  • redundant tunnel condition sensors
  • software: test-specific MatLab code, Labview
  • model/probe control: 16-axes, Aerotech
  • pressure measurements: Scanivalve ZOC Kulite
  • anemometry: hot-film/hot-wire
  • balances: internal (TASK, NRC, various) and external (cruciform, various)
  • flow visualization: Particle image velocimetry (PIV), acoustic array, pressure sensitive paint, smoke, surface oil film, fluorescent mini-tuft

Image gallery

Aerodynamics testing in the 2 m x 3 m wind tunnel

Sports aerodynamics research conducted in the 2 m x 3 m wind tunnel

Aerodynamics research using a model of the CP-140 Aurora in the 2 m x 3 m wind tunnel

Oil flow visualization in the 2 m x 3 m wind tunnel

ttawa, Montreal Road research facilities

Contact us

Business Development Team
Aerospace Research Centre
Email: nrc.aerobdt-edaaero.cnrc@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca


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