Blow down hypersonic wind tunnel with axisymetric nozzles (Ø 0.68 to 1 m), Mach 6.4 ; 10 and 12.

S4MA hypersonic wind tunnel - general overview

The Modane S4A wind tunnel produces an airflow at a maximum stagnation pressure of 120 bar and a maximum stagnation temperature of 1.800 K.

Run duration up to 90 seconds (with 8,000 m3 vacuum downstream tank at 10 mbar).

  • Compressed air: 270 bar, 29 m3 upstream storage tanks, repressurized by a 5.7 kg/s mass airflow compressor.
  • Vacuum: 0.010 bar minimum pressure, 4.000 or 8.000 m3 storage tanks, sucking in air at up to 15 m3/s.


S4A - Global overview of the facility
S4A - Global overview
  • Data acquisition system with 48 to 72 analog channels, and possible extension up to 120 channels by adding simplified channels for thermal measurements.
  • Steady measurement rate up to 25 Hz per channel with a 14-bit A/D converter.
  • Unsteady measurement rate up to 100 kHz per channel (80 channels).
  • Pressure measurement by individual transducers or PSI® electro-pressure scanner: rate can reach 1,472 mean values every 10 seconds (the average value is calculated from a sample of 127 results per channel).
  • Temperature measurement by thermocouples infrared thermography, on thermo sensitive paints.
  • Force measurement by ONERA 6-components balances; numerous balances available and new ones manufactured on request; hinge moment measurement by appropriate balances.
  • Flow visualization by steady or spark shadowgraph (800 mm field diameter), colored oils, thermosensitive paints, infrared.
  • Laser velocimetry on request.
  • Portable data acquisition and processing system designed to support off-line model preparation.


Nozzle Mach 6.4 Mach 10 Mach 12
Outlet diameter 0.685 m 0.994 m 0.994 m
Throat diameter 75.43 mm 36.61 mm 21.53 mm
Maximum Reynolds number(L=1m) 28 million 7.8 million 3.2 million
Run time (standard conditions) 40 to 90 seconds 25 to 85 seconds 25 to 85 seconds
Runs per 8-hour day 5 5 4


Space shuttle test in S4A
Space shuttle test