WIST Laboratory

A world-class Wind Simulation and Testing (WiST)Laboratory has been developed at ISU to address various wind hazard needs. The WiST Lab houses facilities that simulate straight-line gusts, thunderstorm-winds and tornado-like vortices. These facilities are appropriately called “advanced” or “next generation” wind tunnels because of their unique capabilities. It is a state-of-the-art experimental facility that is equipped with the latest instrumentation for conducting research, education, consulting and outreach for applications in wind engineering, aeronautics and industrial aerodynamics. The WiST Lab helps ISU provide high-quality educational and research opportunities to young engineers and scientists to prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century.

The WiST Lab includes:

  • a closed-circuit tunnel with two test sections, one for aerodynamic testing (8 ft wide by 6 ft high section, maximum wind of 110 mph) and the other for tests that require simulation of atmospheric boundary layer wind (8 ft wide by 7.25 ft high section, maximum wind of 85 mph), a gust-generation capability and an alternate open-circuit mode of operation;
  • a tornado/microburst simulator with a test section of 20 ft wide x 34 ft length x 18 ft high and capabilities for generating a translating microburst-like jet (6.0 ft diameter) and a tornado-like vortex (4.0 ft diameter) for model testing;
  • an open-circuit tunnel for aerodynamic testing (3.0 ft wide by 2.5 ft high section, maximum wind of 180 mph);
  • a closed-circuit tunnel for aerodynamic testing (1 ft wide by 1 ft high section; maximum wind of 150 mph);
  • a smoke tunnel with a 2D section for flow visualization;
  • a workshop that includes a 3D router among other tools with capability to build models;
  • state-of-the-art instrumentation for measurements of flow (including PIV), pressure, force and response.