General Motors' New Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel Center

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1534

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
The General Motors Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel Facility, which came into operation in the fall of 2015, is a new state-of-the-art scale model aerodynamic test facility that expands GM’s test capabilities. The new facility also increases GM’s aerodynamic testing through-put and provides the resources needed to achieve the growing demand for higher fuel economy requirements for next generation vehicles. The wind tunnel was designed for a nominal model scale of 40%. The nozzle and test section were sized to keep wind tunnel interference effects to a minimum. Flow quality and other wind tunnel performance parameters are on par with or better than the latest industry standards. A 5-belt system with a long center belt and boundary layer suction and blowing system are used to model underbody flow conditions. An overhead probe traverse system is installed in the test section along with a Model Positioning Robot used to move the model in an out of the test section. The facility includes a model shop area and an office section for aero development and CFD engineers. The close proximity to the full size wind tunnel and the Global Design Center support the workflow of the vehicle design and development process.
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