Aerodynamics research is directed toward a better understanding of the fundamental laws governing the flow of fluids. Research topics of recent interest include: numerical methods in aerodynamics; computational fluid mechanics; separated flow around wings and bodies at high angles of attack; aerodynamics of rotors and propellers; boundary layers, wakes and jets in V/STOL applications and aerodynamic noise; experimental measurements using laser systems; laminar-turbulent transition in high-speed boundary layers.

Purdue is the world leader in researching laminar-turbulent transition in hypersonic flows: We are home to the Mach 6 quiet wind tunnel; the upcoming home of the Mach 8 quiet wind tunnel and HYPULSE shock tunnel; the lead institution on a HPCMP Frontier Project on that topic with the Department of Defense; we have major participation in hypersonic flight testing; and we're home to a critical mass of experienced researchers working in that area.



Ludwieg tube with a 9.5-inch Mach-6 quiet-flow test section. Instrumentation is specialized for study of laminar-turbulent instability and transition, and includes high-speed hot wires, fast-response pressure transducers, hot-film arrays and anemometers, a high-sensitivity laser-differential interferometer, a glow-discharge perturber, and a pulsed laser perturber.

  • Ludwieg tube concept
  • Laminar-turbulent transition

Lead Professor: Joseph Jewell
Location: AERO

Boeing/AFOSR Mach-6 Quiet Tunnel Lab Website

Vacuum Technology Lab
Vacuum Technology Lab

The High-Vacuum Facility offers a wide range of vacuum, thermal and micropropulsion test capabilities including micro-Newton force measurement for microthruster testing.

  • Large vacuum chamber
  • MicroNewton Thrust Stand

Lead Professor: Alina Alexeenko
Location: AERO 18A

Vacuum Technology Lab Website

LyoHUB Laboratory
Vacuum Technology Lab

The goal of Advanced Lyophilization Technology Hub (LyoHub) is to advance the science and technology of freeze-drying/lyophilization. LyoHub’s members include companies in the pharmaceutical and food processing sectors, equipment manufacturers and university researchers, who combine their expertise and resources to accomplish the goal. Immediate objectives are: (i) to identify and disseminate Best Practices for lyophilization equipment performance, testing and validation and (ii) to conduct applied research to advance lyophilization processes and products.

  • Lyostar freeze-dryer
  • FreezeBoost controlled nucleation technology

Lead Professor: Alina Alexeenko
Location: BRK 2261

Lyohub Lab Website

Aerospace Two-Phase Flow Lab
Aerospace Two-Phase Flow Lab

Development of experiments for the study of basic fluid physics and for spaceflight technology advancement of systems which rely on two-phase, that is both liquid and gas, flow systems in space.

  • Allows for the study of the effects of microgravity on combustion/fluid dynamics

Lead Professor: Steven Collicott
Location: ARMS 3191/ARMS B195

Plasma and Flow Visualization Lab

Experimental studies of transient plasma discharges and development of plasma actuators for flow and combustion control.

Lead Professor: Sally Bane
Location: AERO 37

Electric Propulsion and Plasma Lab
Electric Propulsion and Plasma Lab

The Electric Propulsion and Plasma Laboratory (EPPL) conducts research is various areas of experimental plasma science and engineering - with a special emphasis on diagnostics and applications of plasmas to electric propulsion, combustion, flow control, and biomedical engineering.

Lead Professor: Alexey Shashurin
Location: ARMS B107 and MSEE 341

EPPL Website

Boeing Compressible-Flow Laboratory
Boeing Compressible-Flow Laboratory

Three small high-speed facilities: 2-inch blowdown tunnel; A one-inch supersonic jet apparatus; and a 3-inch shock tube.

  • 2-inch blowdown tunnel
  • 1-inch supersonic jet apparatus
  • 3-inch shock tube
  • Also includes Boeing/AFOSR MACH-6 Quiet Tunnel

Lead Professor: Sally Bane
Location: AERO (ASL) 29A

Boeing Compressible Flow Lab Website

Small Experimental Tunnels
Small Experimental Tunnels

Three small low-speed wind tunnels are available. One has an 18-inch diameter test section, and the other two have test sections of 12 by 18 inches. A water tunnel is also available, with a 15x20-inch test section. Several small calibration tunnels are also available.

  • 18-inch diameter test section
  • 12" X 18" test sections (X2)
  • 15" X 20" water tunnel
  • Several small calibration tunnels

Lead Professor: Joseph Jewell
Location: AERO (ASL)

Small Experimental Tunnels Lab Website

Boeing 4' x 6' Subsonic Tunnel
Boeing Subsonic Tunnel

Large subsonic wind tunnel with two test sections -- a closed 4-by-6 foot section with model mounting provisions and a long test section adapted for high-lift research. The first test section is equipped with a three-component balance system.

  • Twin pylon mounting
  • Remotely-controlled angle-of-attack arm

Lead Professor: Sally Bane

Boeing 4' x 6' Subsonic Tunnel Lab Website