Resource Detailed View
Oxford University’s Mars Wind Tunnel is a facility in which Martian winds (0.5 – 60 m/s), pressures (3 – 15 mbar), and temperatures (200 – 300 K) can be simulated. It has been specifically designed for development and calibration of meteorological instruments for Mars landers. Originally developed for the Mars NetLander mission (now cancelled), it was used for Beagle 2 meteorological sensors, and for NASA’s MSL wind sensors. It is due to be used for ESA’s ExoMars mission. The facility also can be used for further simulation of Martian wind, e.g. to study convective cooling rates from the top of a Mars lander, or for other low density flow regimes, e.g. stratospheric conditions.
The facility has recently been improved, with an improved cooling and data acquisition system. With proposed further modifications, it will also be able to repeatedly simulate step changes in temperature and wind speed and to independently cool different portions of the test section.
Also in the same lab (optionally as part of the same RI) we have a number of other wind tunnels which can be applied to a range of regimes for planetary aerodynamic simulation, at speeds up to Mach 10. In particular, we can simultaneously achieve the correct enthalpy and Mach number for Mars entry vehicles. In particular, we have tested aerodynamic stability and heat transfer parameters for Mars Pathfinder, Beagle 2, and Huygens entry vehicles.
Colin Wilson E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.atm.ox.ac.uk/user/wilson/Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary PhysicsOxford University, OXFORD OX1 3PU, U.K.
Tel: +44 1865 272 927
Fax: +44 1865 272 923