The Aircraft Research Association Research Capital Equipment (ARA CE)
This £3m ATI-approved project was led by the Aircraft Research Association (ARA). The capital grant was awarded by Government to fund infrastructure upgrades to: the transonic wind tunnel main control system, drive system and acoustic measurement system; computing system capacity upgrade and machinery for model manufacture. This equipment covers ARA’s ability to manufacture and test very high-quality models in a timely and effective manner, helping to maintain their position as one of the world’s leading providers of aerodynamic research facilities.
There was a phased upgrade to the transonic wind tunnel facility, culminating in the installation of a new DC drive motor, the installation of five new machines in the workshop and acquisition of increased high-performance computing capacity for the Computation Aerodynamics (CA) department. New test measurement equipment was also acquired.
ARA has completed the initial wind tunnel test of the three new test capabilities and although there will be further development for some of the capabilities, these programmes have already delivered new optical measurement systems such as particle image velocimetry (PIV) and dynamic and fast responsive pressure sensitive paint (PSP).