BITS Pilani to construct wind tunnel facility for aerodynamic testing and research – Times of India

Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani announced its plans to construct one of India’s most significant and largest wind tunnel facilities in Telangana. The wind tunnel is expected to be completed within a timespan of 12 months and it aims to revolutionise aerodynamic testing and research in the country.
The wind tunnel which is set to be completely by next year will have two test sections – an expansive 5m x 5m area designed for a full scale assessment of quadcopters and automobile cooling systems, and a more compact 2 m x 2 m test section capable of simulating winds at speeds of up to 220 Kmph.
Apart from these, the wind tunnel facility will also have the ability to regulate wind conditions in terms of space and time via an active control system developed by BITS Pilani’s students and faculty.
Why this wind tunnel is important for the country
With the new wind tunnel, BITS aims to fuel India’s space endeavours and keep the country at the forefront of space technology on a global scale. The idea is to fill the gap in the country’s research infrastructure. According to the company, the wind tunnel will also be a platform for students and companies to experiment and innovate new ideas in addition to facilitating research in drones and autonomous flying vehicles.
Speaking on the wind tunnel, Prof. G. Sundar, Director of Hyderabad Campus, and Off-Campus Programs & Industry Engagement at BITS Pilani, commented, “Drones and UAVs hold immense potential across various sectors, including commercial, defense and recreation. Leading educational institutions have already seen successful drone startups emerge, such as Ideaforge from IIT Bombay and BotLab Dynamics from IIT Delhi. We envision BITS Pilani joining these institutions in spearheading the development of frontier technologies in drones, UAVs, and space. The Wind Tunnel will play a pivotal role in establishing BITS Pilani as a hub for deep-tech entrepreneurship.”
The realisation of this project has been made feasible through the generous backing of Goutham Kurra, an accomplished entrepreneur and an alumnus of BITS Pilani. He said, “My wife Aditi and I believe in the non-linear power of higher education. As an alumnus, I believe BITS had a major formative influence on my life. I am excited to support the Wind Tunnel project, which I believe will inspire future generations of students to pursue cutting-edge research and innovation.”
BITS Pilani wind tunnel: Capabilities
The wind tunnel will be able to recreate wind speeds of up to 220 Kmph. This will offer valuable insights into the dynamics of flight. It will have the capability of testing the aerodynamic effects on a diverse range of subjects including full-scale drones/quadcopters, automobiles, parachutes, and electric vehicle battery management systems.

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