Wind Tunnel Design for Physical Modeling of Atmospheric Boundary Layer

by Jack E. Cermak, (F.ASCE), Prof. in Charge; Fluid Mech. and Wind Engrg. Program, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo. 80521; also Dir., Fluid Dynamics and Diffusion Lab., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo. 80521,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 3, Pg. 623-642

Document Type: Journal Paper


Wind in the lower atmosphere has had direct adverse and beneficial impacts of the entirety of humanity throughout the ages. The evolution of wind tunnels for the physical modeling of natural wind in the lower 500 m-1,000 m of the atmosphere is reviewed. Following comments of essential features of the atmospheric boundary layer requirements for physical modeling of natural winds in this layer are reviewed. Details of a meteorological wind tunnel designed by the writer to meet the primary requirements are presented. After some comparisons of meteorological variables measured in the wind tunnel with data obtained from atmospheric measurements, applications of wind tunnels to the solution of wind-engineering problems of current concern in civil engineering practice are examined.

Subject Headings: Wind tunnel | Tunnels | Physical models | Boundary layers | Comparative studies | Weather forecasting | Engineering profession

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