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Design, Testing and Characterization of Complex Aerospace Systems

The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at West Virginia University has a unique combination of infrastructure and expertise to accomplish high-quality analysis in design, testing, and characterization of complex aerospace systems. In-house expertise includes specialized areas such as unsteady aerodynamics, unstable flight motion/characterization, damaged-states aerodynamics and fault-tolerant behavior.

The WVU Reedsville Research Farm consists of two unique facilities developed for aerospace systems analysis. A large Eiffel-type free-flight wind tunnel is equipped with a traversing probe and 40 Vicon Motion Capture cameras. The Motion Capture system allows the accurate recording of dynamic body motion during free flight experiments or launches.

Also located at the farm is the Reedsville Proving Grounds, a one-of-a-kind test facility in the United States. This 4.3-acre parcel is used for outdoor aerospace system testing, including fully unstable body trajectories. A total of 70 Vicon Motion Cameras can be used to control and capture UAS and projectile body dynamics. The custom-built Pneumatically Actuated Universal Launch Apparatus is available to conduct low-cost launches. A modular launcher chute and pushrod system allow for a variety of projectiles to be launched from the system. A suite of 6 high-speed cameras with remote synchronization is also used to provide imagery and data of all aspects of the launches.

A control bunker is located at the proving grounds to handle data acquisition, system triggering, and local atmospheric weather collection. The Reedsville facilities are remote and secure and can accommodate both ITAR and FOUO restricted testing.

Affiliated Faculty