Faculty Advisor

Blandino, John J.


The goal of this project was to design a supersonic wind tunnel (SWT) for use in the laboratory. This SWT will be the indraft type, with the necessary pressure ratio provided by an existing vacuum chamber. The design constraints included interfacing with existing flanges on the vacuum chamber, optical access for the test section of the tunnel, and maintaining costs within the allocated budget. Mechanical design of the tunnel was completed using solid modeling software and the supersonic nozzle was designed using the method of characteristics. This report details the process of determining critical dimensions (throat area and expansion ratio), estimating the attainable test duration, and design of a supersonic nozzle to prevent shocks in the test section.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2009


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering