Wind Tunnel Provides Opportunities for Research

Kyle Mackay and Rob Merrill with Wind Tunnel

At the close of the academic year, I receive reports about undergraduate researcher’s activities. Kyle Mackay, who is majoring in Mechanical-Aerospace Engineering, shared his report on how he has over the course of the year repaired the old wind tunnel in the Aeronautics Lab in the EL building into a fully functional machine. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask to visit, which I did yesterday. Although it was an arduous process, Kyle was able to finish construction in February, which enabled graduate student Rob Merrill to begin his research. The test chamber was fitted with an array of precise measurement instruments, which were used in Rob’s research as well as by the USU Rocket Team. Due to the delicate nature of measurements in this environment, Kyle automated the data collection through the construction of circuit boards. He also programmed a digital control board. The data can then be visualized through a graphical user interface on the laptop. The project has allowed Kyle to use both mechanical and electrical engineering. Quite an accomplishment for a sophomore!

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