The University of Notre Dame has finished developing the country’s largest quiet Mach 6 hypersonic wind tunnel. The $5.4 million project was mainly funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and is the first move in a partnership between Notre Dame and Purdue University to develop several hypersonic tunnels.
“This tunnel’s combination of low noise and large size enables previously impossible experiments to be carried out,” said Thomas Juliano, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame. “It will have a key role in our ability to predict and control hypersonic boundary-layer transition, knowledge critical to the design of future high-performance hypersonic vehicles.”
The tunnel was developed by a team of Boeing researchers and is designed to lessen the effect of sound traveling at Mach 6, which if a commercial flight, would get airline passengers from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles in 23 minutes. Plans are also in the works to showcase a Mach 8 tunnel at Purdue and a Mach 10 tunnel at Notre Dame.
A ceremony will soon be announced to commemorate the tunnel completion at White Field Research Laboratory at Notre Dame.