Smoke demo in the University of Maryland Wind Tunnel. (Photo courtesy of Motorweek)

Smoke demo in the University of Maryland Wind Tunnel. (Photo courtesy of Motorweek)


The University of Maryland's Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel was featured in the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) show Motorweek. The Wind Tunnel has been used to test aerodynamic efficiency on scale model cars from Genovation, a green-technology car company.

Enduring speeds of over 100 miles per hour is no small feat for any vehicle, but it is required to help “companies improve product design and validate mathematical modeling,” said Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel Director, Dr. Jewel Barlow. This type of research is used to determine how manufacturers can reduce drag, improve fuel efficiency, and minimize wind noise in their vehicles.

Genovation's G2 car was known to be very efficient, but the car still required testing with a scale model to confirm the company’s computer model calculations. A smoke demo determined the stagnation point of the vehicle, or the area where air becomes more turbulent, and revealed that there was increased drag towards the back of the vehicle. Discovering this area of drag enabled the company to develop corrective solutions, which will include increasing the angle of the car’s bumper and adding a chrome lip to the back of the car.

Testing procedures like those performed by Genovation in the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel, help companies and designers discover key areas for improving aerodynamic efficiency and making more efficient design changes and developmental alterations.

For more information on the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel, visit their website.

September 30, 2013

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