High performing engineering consultancy KWSP will design and manufacture a new state-of-the-art wind tunnel to Silverstone’s new Sports Engineering Hub in Northamptonshire, as part of the innovative technology consortium Sports Aero Solutions Limited (SASL).
SASL, which delivered the UK’s first dedicated cycling wind tunnel installed at the Boardman Performance Centre, Evesham, is delivering an adaptable facility, which will be used for research and development of a range of sports. With fan measuring 2.5 metres in diameter, and speeds of approximately 60mph, the wind tunnel will enable analysis of sports including cycling, running, skiing and even ski-jumping.
Based on open source programming, the software within the tunnel enables sportspeople to access data however they want, from coefficient of drag figures to pressure distribution, enabling R&D developers to understand the changes required to drive performance improvement.
Joining KWSP as part of the SASL consortium delivering the tunnel is aerodynamic and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) experts TotalSim, and Olympic gold medal cyclist Chris Boardman.
Speaking about the engineering work going into the development of the wind tunnel, KWSP’s Managing Director, Kieron Salter, commented: “This project is typical of the work we do at KWSP - first-of-kind engineering challenges transferring technology from one sector to another. Our specialist team of engineers are taking the techniques used by motorsport industries to design an adaptable and flexible wind tunnel, capable of achieving a high quality of airflow and repeatability to suit a range of sports analytics programmes.”
The wind tunnel will become a major attraction inside the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub when it opens in early 2019. The goal of the Hub is to provide opportunities for companies in the area to apply their motorsport and/or advanced engineering capabilities to the sports science sector.
The hub will also provide space for companies to have a base at Silverstone, with a range of sports equipment.