Blow down wind tunnel, from Mach 0.1 to Mach 6.05

S3MA aerodynamic circuit

  • Rectangular section (0.80 x 0.76 m maximum).
  • Stagnation pressure: from 0.2 bar to 7.5 bar (depending on nozzle and Mach number).
  • Stagnation temperature generated by electrical storage heater: maximum 530 K.


  • Steady measurements = 64 analog channels, 16 bits A/D converter, digital lowpass filtering with a bandwidth from 0.01 to 10 Hz. Steady accuracy ±1 mV, resolution 0.3mV.
  • On demand, unsteady measurements = 64 analog channels at 100 kHz per channel. 12 bits A/D converter, digital lowpass filtering with a bandwidth from 0 to 20 kHz (if necessary the number of channels can be increased).
  • Steady pressures = 992 channels (by DTC PSI®, system 8400).
  • Automatic quality checks of the voltage measurement units.
  • Real-time data processing.
  • Model supports and tunnel wall interferences corrections.
  • Measurement while one parameter is continuously varying.

Measurement techniques

  • Schlieren vizualisation.
  • Flow meter for air intake tests.
  • Temperature measurement by thermocouples or infrared thermography.
  • Load measurement by ONERA 6 component balance and hinge moment balance.
  • Laser velocimetry on request.


Run time: from 10 seconds to 15 minutes depending on conditions (10 to 35 seconds with exhaust into vacuum storage tanks; 1 to 15 minutes with exhaust into atmosphere).

  • Reynolds number: maximum 54.106 referenced to 1 meter (depending on nozzle and Mach number).
  • Clean airflow ensured by 80 µm mesh filter.
  • Quick and easy access to model by removal of test section right-hand wall.
  • Productivity: 3 to 20 runs or 20 to 40 polars per day, 15 to 50 minutes between runs.
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Mach-stagnation pressure range

Test section and Mach range

Typical tests

Booster separation simulation
  • Force and/or pressure measurements on missile models.
  • Air intakes (steady and unsteady measurements).
  • Models equipped with cold jet (compressed air) or hot jet (rocket engine).
  • Optronic systems.
  • Radome erosion by rain or sand.
  • Airfoil or helicopter blade aerodynamic data.
  • Unsteady measurements on pitch oscillating profile model.
  • Heat transfer measurements.


Technical documentation