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AFRL Taps Purdue University to Develop Mach 8 Wind Tunnel

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The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded Purdue University with a $9.5M contract to build a quiet wind tunnel that will work to gather data at a speed of Mach 8.

The quiet wind tunnel will serve as an experimental facility and is planned to implement various security levels in line with proprietary research activities between industry and the government, Purdue said Tuesday.

Steven Schneider, a lead investigator for the project, said the university will employ risk reduction and research efforts to allow the tunnel to reach operational capability status within five years.

“This award is one of a growing number of large-scale research programs enabled by Purdue’s ongoing commitment to national security research and the efforts of its Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation,” said Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue.

The university currently houses one of two working Mach 6 wind tunnels in the U.S. Purdue noted that gathering data at high Mach speeds will potentially allow optimized comprehension in flow physics.