The Sverdrup Driveability Test Facility (DTF) represents a new type of partnership in automotive testing between a supplier (Sverdrup Technology) and an original equipment manufacturer (Ford Motor Company). The facility was designed and built by Sverdrup to Ford's specifications. It is also operated and maintained by Sverdrup, with Ford as its “anchor” client under a long-term lease-back arrangement. Test time that goes unused by Ford is made available to other customers.
Wind Tunnel 8 (WT8) is one of the test facilities within the DTF, which includes two other climatic wind tunnels and several supporting test cells. This tunnel combines aerodynamic, acoustic, climatic, and powertrain capabilities within one facility. The airline was optimized during the design stage for the competing requirements of excellent flow quality, very low background noise, and climatic capability. This paper describes the rationale for including Wind Tunnel 8 in a driveability test facility, an overview of the design philosophy, and commissioning results.