Wall Correction Methods

Both the NTF and the Ames 11-ft wind tunnels use the Transonic Wall Interference Correction System (TWICS) to provide blockage and incidence corrections due to the presence of the test section boundary. TWICS and its predecessor, the Wall Interference Correction System (WICS), were developed at the NASA Ames Research Center by Ulbrich et al.as a modification and extension of the Hackett wall signature method.  TWICS is an enhanced version of WICS that handles ventilated boundary conditions, typically seen in transonic wind tunnels. This method was chosen to be implemented at the NTF, see Iyer et al.,in an effort to standardize the wall interference correction methodology across NASA centers. TWICS is based on a linearized potential flow method with a Prandtl-Glauert compressibility model which inherently assumes that there is a portion of flow in the test section between the near-field region of the test article and the near-field region of the wall that is a linear perturbation of the empty test section flow field.

The method uses a tared wall pressure signature, which is the difference between the model installed condition and the empty test section, a database of normalized perturbation velocities using unit singularity solutions computed for a given mathematical representation of the wall boundary condition, and geometric information from the test article. Tareing of the wall pressure signature is performed to remove first order effects of the empty tunnel boundary layer and buoyancy, is assumed to contain only the solid and wake blockage, and is also assumed that the additional second order change in the test-section-wall boundary layer displacement thickness due to the presence of the test article is negligible—an assumption that is violated by flow near a Mach number of unity where aspects of the crossflow are more critical. The test article is modeled with an appropriately weighted point doublet chain to represent the fuselage, wake, and support system. Line doublets, typically distributed along the lifting surface quarter-chord, are used to simulate the effect of lift. The strengths of the line doublets are determined using the measured lift from the balance. The resulting wall signature from these singularities is subtracted from the tared wall signature, leaving only the blockage signature. This remaining signature is used to determine the strengths of the solid and wake blockage singularities.

Although both facilities use TWICS, the implementations are not identical. The differences occur in how the wall boundary conditions are formulated and applied. Ulbrichperformed a calibration and validation of the baffled, slotted (i.e. porous) wall boundary condition for the Ames 11-ft wind tunnel.  Walker calibrated and validated the longitudinal slotted wall boundary condition in the NTF. A discrete wall formulation, where the boundary condition is applied in the baffled slot, is used at the Ames 11-ft wind tunnel; whereas, a homogeneous wall formulation, which is more of an averaged representation of the effect of the ventilated wall boundary, is used at the NTF. Work is in progress to assess the impact of modeling the NTF wall boundary condition as discrete. It is anticipated that a change to the discrete formulation of the NTF may lead to a decreased incidence correction.  Data presented on this website are corrected using the respective implementations of TWICS at each facility.