Continuous-flow wind tunnel, Atmospheric, Mach 0.05 to Mach 1

S1MA aerodynamic circuit
  • Continuous-flow wind tunnel, Atmospheric, Mach 0.05 to Mach 1
  • Largest facility of its kind in the world: 8 meter diameter. Test section: large models for a better simulation.
  • Typical wing span model size : 3,5m to 4m
  • Motorized testing on half models is possible.
  • Full model testing for investigation of handling qualities (with remotely controlled ailerons, flaps, HTP).
  • Suitable facility for valuable noise measurements (Adequate Re number).
  • Tests corrections capitalize on major progress in CFD approach.

The Modane S1MA wind tunnel is equipped with two contra-rotating fans driven by Pelton turbines, developing 88 MW of power. It takes about 3 minutes to bring the speed from 0 to Mach 0.8.

Test sections

S1MA Test section
  • Three interchangeable test sections.
  • Test sections can be replaced in six to ten hours, depending on the configuration.


  • Steady measurements = 128 analog channels, 16 bits A/D converter, digital lowpass filtering with a bandwidth from 0.01 to 10 Hz. Steady accuracy ±1 mV, resolution 0.3mV.
  • Unsteady measurements = 64 analog channels at 100 kHz per channel. 12 bits A/D converter, digital lowpass filtering with a bandwidth from 0 to 20 kHz (if necessary the number of channels can be increased).
  • Steady pressures = 992 channels (by DTC PSI®, system 8400) (On demand this number of pressure channels can be increased up to 1984).
  • Measurement at constant Mach number by sampling in a range M = ± 0,001
  • Automatic quality checks of the pressure measurement units.
  • Real-time spectral analysis.
  • Measurement while one parameter is continuously varying.
  • Model supports and tunnel wall interferences corrections.

Measurement techniques:

The tests range

S1MA - fans - 88 MW - 15 meter diameter

Stagnation pressure is approximately equal to the local atmospheric pressure, i.e. about 0.9 bar.

Stagnation temperature stands between 258 and 333 K according to Mach number and atmospheric temperature.

Typical tests

Commercial aircraft test in S1MA
  • 6-componant aerodynamic forces and control surface hinge moments measured on a complete or half-span model.
  • Large models of transport aircraft (4m span of half-span).
  • Hybrid laminarity models with suction of boundary layer.
  • Helicopter rotors (4 m diameter).
  • Propeller tests (isolated and installed propeller tests).
  • Full-scale missiles, with real motor running.
  • Naclle/pylon/wing interference (blown/TPS nacelles).
  • Air intakes (steady and unsteady measurements).
  • Captive trajectory system and jetisson test.
  • Acoustics.

Absolute confidentiality-guarantee

Model preparation and tests in secure cells.
Numerous tests for foreign customers, all with confidentiality absolutely guaranteed.