Specific Mach numbers are established in this facility using interchangeable, fixed 2-D nozzle blocks.
An example of recent research performed in the Trisonic Tunnel includes the Supersonic Drag Study of Fins to be used on FalconLaunch VI. In this investigation, various fin models for the solid-propellant, instrument-carrying, suborbital rocket, FalconLaunch VI, were tested at supersonic speeds from Mach 1.5 to 4.3, and the retarding forces on these fins were measured using a force balance. The project quantified the changes in drag for varying thickness and bluntness of the fin leading edge and compared this data against accepted computer models. These analyses helped determine trade-offs among the fin’s drag, weight, and structural integrity characteristics. This is an USAF Office of Scientific Research sponsored project in support of the Department of Astronautics.