A very unusual test was conducted at the ONERA Modane Centre from the 7th to the 11th of July: a scientific experiment on the scale of the large wind tunnel, under conditions that have never been met before. Purpose: To better understand the dynamics of turbulence and create a reference database for coming years.
Inflatable grid, 10m in diameter, placed in the converging portion in order to achieve a homogeneous turbulence 10 times greater than that obtained in the usual academic experiments.
A group of European scientists, who usually have neither the financial resources nor the opportunity to use large wind tunnels, were able to install a large number of sensors inside the S1MA wind tunnel during a single experiment, in order to study turbulence and improve the fundamental physical understanding of the phenomena in this area. All of this was done at flow velocities that are quite unusual for this wind tunnel, namely at very low speeds. This opportunity was made possible within the framework of the European Project FP7 ESWIRP (European Strategic Wind tunnels Improved Research Potential).
This project, whose purpose was to allow the academic community access to very large experimental resources, thus materialized in Modane for these 33 scientists of 13 different nationalities. The ETW (European Transonic Wind tunnel) in Germany and the DNW-Large Lowspeed Facility in the Netherlands were also made available to scientists within the framework of this pan-European project, but for other research subjects.
The passion and enthusiasm of the scientists to participate in such a unique experience, within such an impressive framework, have been very communicative. The ONERA Modane center testing teams found a very special excitement and motivation in their exchanges with these quite unusual – non-industrial – customers. All of the participants in these tests experienced a sense of belonging to the same scientific community.