Edito

We position ourselves as a service provider to our customers. What is the benefit for an ONERA Wind Tunnel Division customer to work with us? This is a multifold question, and I wish to clarify how we strive to best answer that question. But first if we try to keep to the fundamentals, our services are targeted at putting customers in a better position to beat the international competition:

  1. We contribute to improving the quality of the customer end product  
  2. We offer them our capabilities and know-how for improving their overall productivity

The wind tunnel division of ONERA, is managed on the basis of a corporate approach. It’s the division’s responsibility to provide customers with services which will meet, anticipate and in some cases expand their present and future expectancies. We provide customers with comprehensive testing services in large and medium size commercial wind tunnels (at ONERA’s test and model design and fabrication centers), forming an impressive suite of facilities.  However this is not enough to meet our ambitious goals as described before. We conduct in a common approach, whenever required, a thorough analysis of the most suitable test sequences and necessary models or equipment to answer in the most appropriate manner the primary objectives of a client. I see two reasons why experimental facilities are still highly valuable development tools nowadays:  

  • A flying vehicle is the result of an optimization between various disciplines and requirements. The best compromise is permanently sought for but with limitations. These limitations are mainly provisions for design margins resulting from inaccuracies during the design phase. This is affecting conventional and non-conventional aircraft or flying vehicle, future innovative project as well. An improvement of the quality of the simulation process during the design phase will immediately result in a product with increased performances, easier to certify, easier to market and sell.
     
  • Innovation being the capacity to develop a market product from an idea, simulation shall assess the potential for new ideas to turn into innovation in a speedy and sound manner.

Wind tunnels have an important role, and may be more than ever, for going round the here above constrains. Numerical methods have progressed a lot, however there are still phenomena (accurate buffeting assessment in all flying conditions for instance), or analysis of totally new aircraft configurations where wind tunnels cannot be replaced. The experimental methods already developed, and the ONERA Wind Tunnel Division’s ongoing quest for improved testing techniques, are key issues to provide the expected support. We attach great importance to test technique development. Sustained effort has been put into specific areas, with a clear desire for progress: measurement of wind tunnel model deformation; Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) measurements; continuing industrialization and improvement of PSP measurement technique, improved corrections of wind tunnel bias (sting and wall effects). In terms of model design and manufacturing, projects on important model design innovations were prepared in the engineering network and model department (DRIM) with the aim of reducing the overall duration of the wind tunnel testing cycle.  

I wish to conclude in saying that ONERA wind tunnel division may offer a wide selection of services with increased degree of complexity, as we have done so far with many clients in all trust and faith. ONERA wind tunnel division formalized its quality assurance, assisting progress and enhancing customer trust, in 1997. ONERA wind tunnel division’s certification for compliance with ISO 9001-2000 standards was renewed at the end of 2006.