3 m x 6 m Icing Wind Tunnel

National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

A 3 m x 6 m wind tunnel with unique icing research capabilities that can accommodate full-scale, bluff-body aerodynamic investigations

Areas of expertise

The 3 m x 6 m Icing Wind Tunnel features an open-circuit design meaning a naturally cold test section is available in the winter for icing research. This capability, combined with the working section height, results in the ability to simulate larger water droplets than most icing wind tunnels can support. Small cloud droplets and freezing drizzle can also be simulated.

The open-circuit layout, with fan at entry, permits contaminants associated with the test arrangements (such as heat, combustion products, wakes, jets, lost lubricants) to discharge directly, without re-circulating or contacting the fan. A drainage system in the diffuser collects and disposes of larger volumes of liquid contaminants, such as anti-icing fluids, in an environmentally responsible manner. The high-solidity fan reduces unsteadiness due to atmospheric wind.

Experiments on propulsion systems are facilitated by a connection to a compressor facility. Compressed air can be used to simulate jet effluxes or to drive turbine-powered fans, and to simulate intake suction characteristics

The length of the wind tunnel's test section simulates natural winds using the National Research Council Canada (NRC)-developed spire technique. Several recent investigations have focused on characterizing the highly turbulent air wake in the vicinity of aviation-capable ships.

Research services
  • 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
Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Automotive
  • Defence and security industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Management and business related services
  • Transportation
Scanivalve ZOC™, KulitePressure Measurements
LaVision flow visualization systemFlow visualization system; enables Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), smoke and surface oil film analysis
Freezing rain nozzles (in house design)Roof spray system for simulating ground freezing rain and freezing drizzle conditions
Data systemA/D channels: 24 and 16 bit @ 100 kHz with custom configurations
  • Department of National Defense (DND)
  • Transport Canada
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Aerovate (Northwestern Ontario Innovation Center)