Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Nathan Murray

Second Advisor

Sasan Nouranian

Third Advisor

Stephen Perry

Relational Format



Traditionally, one factor at a time (OFAT) testing is used to accomplish wind tunnel
experimentation. OFAT testing is a process whereby one of the defined factors in the experiment is changed while all of the other factors are held constant. Afterwards, a new factor is chosen as the one to be manipulated, and the process is then repeated until all factors have been run through. Due to the possible cost-intensive and time-consuming nature of wind tunnel testing, formal design of experiments (DOE) has begun to be applied to wind tunnel experiments. In doing so, unique analyses can be made that elucidate such things as the interactive effects between factors and uncertainty within the experiment. The conversion to DOE from OFAT can be bothersome considering the need to understand how DOE can be applied to a new environment. The research objective was to apply the formal design of experiments to the wind tunnel testing environment to give a clearer understanding of how this application may be accomplished in future wind tunnel testing contexts. To do so, a load cell was used in the NCPA’s low-speed wind tunnel to gather the lift and drag data of various deformed airfoils. Using this data, DOE analysis was performed to understand the relationships of the factors to the compiled data by using a 2-level fractional factorial design. Regression models were found for both the lift and drag. The drag model performed the best of the two. The lift response was shown to be reactive to multi-factor interactions, whereas the drag was not.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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