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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Design and Aerodynamics of a Portable Wind Tunnel for Soil Erosion and Fugitive Dust Research

Authors
item Pietersma, D - WASHINGTON STATE UNIV.
item Stetler, Larry - WASHINGTON STATE UNIV.
item Saxton, Keith

Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion and dust emissions from agricultural fields has recently caused extensive agricultural field damage and urban air quality concerns in the Pacific Northwest. An extensive research program has been initiated to determine the physics of the wind erosion and improved control methods. A large, portable wind tunnel some 44 feet long, 3 feet wide and 4 feet high has been constructed and tested as a method for time efficient measurements of erosion processes under controlled wind conditions on farm fields. This tunnel simulates a natural wind over the fields being tested and allows rapid assessment of erosion potentials by different soils, crops and farming methods.

Technical Abstract: A portable wind tunnel was built to research wind erosion of soil and simultaneous emissions of fine dust from agricultural fields on the Columbia Plateau, Washington. The tunnel has an overall length of 13 m with a working section of 7.3 m long, 1.0 m wide and 1.2 m high. Power was supplied using a 40 Hp gasoline engine driving a 1.4 m industrial fan. Tunnel design criteria provided an aerodynamically correct flow comparable to the atmospheric boundary layer. This was accomplished using extensive flow conditioning (perforated plates, honeycomb and screen) to eliminate flow instability from the fan and by allowing the boundary layer to develop naturally through a non-uniform shear-grid positioned at the upstream edge of the working section.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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