Penn State University – Applied Research Laboratory

Capabilities include:

  • Component and Power testing
  • Composite blade design
  • Composite blade testing
  • Composite structure (non-blade) design and testing
  • Composite structure (non-blade) testing
  • Control Systems engineering support
  • Finite element analysis (FEA) modeling
  • Fluid-structure interaction modeling
  • General component testing
  • High Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Indoor water channel or flume testing
  • Mooring dynamics simulation
  • Power-take-off testing
  • Smooth particle hydrodynamics
  • Turbine hydrodynamics
  • WEC hydrodynamics
  • Array Integration Modeling
  • High-fidelity CFD
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Description

The Fluid Dynamics and Acoustic Office within the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State University operates a number of experimental facilities supporting hydrodynamic and acoustic research of interest to Navy, Government and Industry sponsors. A brief description of each facility is included below:

  • 48” Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel: The Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel was constructed to provide a large scale, high speed facility for hydrodynamic testing of underwater vehicles, systems and devices. The facility was designed for flow, acoustics, cavitation and flow induced structural response testing. This facility is a variable speed, variable pressure, air content controlled closed circuit, closed jet recirculating water tunnel. Test Section Diameter: 1.22 m, Maximum Velocity: 18 m/s, Pressure Range: 20 kPa – 138 kPa absolute.
  •  12” Water Tunnel: The 12” Water Tunnel, constructed in 1951, supports smaller-scale hydrodynamic testing and basic research experiments. This facility is a variable speed, variable pressure, air content controlled closed circuit, closed jet recirculating water tunnel. The test section can be configured with both circular and rectangular test sections. Test Section: 0.305 m (circular) or 0.5 m x 0.11m (rectangular), Maximum Velocity: 24 m/s, Pressure Range: 20 kPa – 138 kPa absolute.
  •  6” Water Tunnel: The 6” Water Tunnel supports basic research experiments and sensor calibrations. This facility is a variable speed, variable pressure, closed circuit, closed jet recirculating water tunnel. Test Section Diameter: 0.15 m, Maximum Velocity: 21 m/s, Pressure Range: 20 kPa – 138 kPa absolute.
  •  1.5” High Speed Water Tunnel: The High Speed Water Tunnel, originally constructed by NASA, supports research in cavitation and cavitation-induced damage. This facility is a variable speed, variable pressure, closed circuit, closed jet recirculating water tunnel. Test Section Diameter: 1.5 inches, Maximum Velocity: 84 m/s, Pressure Range: up to 8200 kPa.
  •  Boundary Layer Research Facility: The Boundary Layer Research Facility is a unique closed-loop tunnel that uses glycerin as the working fluid. With a viscosity much greater than water, glycerin enlarges boundary layer effects, making this facility uniquely suitable for boundary layer and turbulence research. Test Section Diameter: 0.3 m, Maximum Velocity: 6 m/s.
  • Pump Test Loop: The Pump Test Loop facility was constructed to provide a research facility for the measurement of pump hydrodynamic and hydroacoustic performance [3]. Specifically designed to limit background noise and vibration, the Pump Test Loop is reconfigurable and capable of supporting up to a 224 kWatt test pump. Pump Size: up to 224 kWatt, Auxiliary Pump: 93 kWatt, Pressure Range: up to 1 MPa.
  • Reverberant Tank: The Reveberant Tank facility provides a capability to perform underwater acoustic measurements, including broad-band sound power radiated by submerged structures. Tank Dimensions: 5.33 m x 8 m x 5.5 m deep.
  • Flow-Through Anechoic Chamber: The Flow-Through Anechoic Chamber provides an in-air acoustic testing facility that can be used as either a normal anechoic chamber, or a flow-through chamber for the measurement of flow or jet noise. Chamber Dimensions: 5.5 m x 6.7 m x 9.1 m high, Low Frequency Cutoff: 70 Hz.

Instrumentation includes:

  • Flow diagnostics: Time-dependent, multicomponent Laser Doppler velocimetry, high-speed planar and tomographic Particle image velocimetry (velocity vector frame rates up 10 Hz to 5 kHz), multi-channel thermal anemometry, pressure-based sensors.
  • Acoustics, vibration and Pressure: steady and unsteady pressure, radiated sound – downstream acoustic array, high frequency hydro-phones, vibration – single point and scanning laser vibrometry, accelerometers.
  • Forces and Dynamometry: Steady and unsteady multi-component force measurements (DC to kHz), Load cell design and manufacture, Power Generation – 52 kWatt.

 

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Point of Contact: Dr. Nicholas Jaffa – naj15@arl.psu.edu & Dr. Arnold Fontaine – aaf1@arl.psu.edu