Del Norte HS
Computer Rendered Wind Tunnel
Question: Is it possible, and efficient, to compute the aerodynamic drag of a certain shape in C or C++, and visually render the results of these computations? If so, we could greatly reduce the cost of maintenance, space taken up, energy consumed and the large quantity of space required for a modern, physical wind tunnel.
Hypothesis: It is possible to compute the drag of a given object, and visually render the results, so that it is easier to understand, but the question still remains whether it is effecient to model a wind tunnel in C or C++.
Sources: MENTOR who is Roy Hogan, from Sandia National Laboratories, or if he cannot do this, he will help us find another mentor who would be willing and able to.
Background: Wind tunnnels have been and are widely used in the study of aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, as well as other fields of science. The problem with wind tunnels today is that they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, at least, and they are large, bulky and consume large quantities of energy and power. The advantages of simulating a wind tunnel via computer would be numberous: space is not taken up by physical wind tunnel, maintenance costs are eliminated, more flexibility is allowed, the setup process may be less of a hassle, and the cost may be significantly less, among other advantages. By simulating a wind tunnel on computers, one could study the aerodynamic drag, as well as fluid dynamic drag, of a certain shape, a certain size, a certain mass going a certain speed without having to actually move any physical objects, except a mouse and a hand or two to type in data.
If we were to visually render the wind tunnel, in say, C or C++, we could make it much easier to see the given the numbers which would be the results of the computations, etc., of a given problem. We could program an application to, with special equations, etc., computer the drag of a given objecct, of a certain size, shape and mass.