The experimental aerodynamics research group deals mostly, but not exclusively, with experimental aerodynamics research and implementation. The group, led by principal engineer Mauro Morelli and composed of two principle engineers, five senior engineers and two junior engineers, investigates aircraft and vehicle aerodynamics through the use of the CSIR's suite of wind tunnels ranging from low subsonic speeds to supersonic speeds. The research group is competent in the planning, experimental design and execution of wind-tunnel tests, including data post-processing, verification and analysis.
- Wind-tunnel testing planning, design and execution
- Experimental aerodynamic data post-processing, verification and analysis
- Low and high speed aerodynamics
- Helicopter airframe and rotor aerodynamics
- Store carriage and release aerodynamics
- Aircraft and store dynamic characteristics investigations
- Vehicle and industrial fluid dynamics
- Balance design manufacture, gauging, calibration and application
- Wind-tunnel model design and manufacture
- Specialised wind-tunnel rig design, manufacture and implementation.
- Data acquisition and control specification and implementation
- Wind-tunnel systems operations
- Data processing software development and implementation.
Medium to long term research projects include:
- Helicopter rotor wake investigations, including aerodynamic surface dynamic interactions
- Store carriage and release aerodynamics research
- Advanced balance design, manufacturing and measurement technique research
- High-angle-of-attack test technique refinement
- Dynamic measurement rig design and implementation.
- Static wind-tunnel tests on most SAAF combat aircraft types
- Participation in the testing of the proposed Cheetah combat wing upgrade programme
- Testing of the Impala aircraft during the conceptual study for the extended range wing
- Rooivalk and Oryx helicopter tests
- Participation in the aerodynamic characterisation of most South African-developed missiles
- Aerodynamic characterisation of most South African-developed unmanned aerial vehicles
- 155 mm projectile characterisations
- Supersonic ramjet inlet development and characterisation
- Supersonic ramjet projectile characterisation
- Bomb configuration spin dynamics characterisation
- International collaborations on aerodynamic characterisation of helicopter launched anti-ship missile, torpedo and submarine configurations.
The experimental aerodynamics group collaborates with several universities, both locally and abroad, in the development of fundamental experimental aerodynamic techniques and investigations. These include:
- University of Johannesburg
- University of the Witwatersrand
- University of Pretoria
- University of West England
- University of Surrey
- University of Pisa.
In South Africa, the experimental aerodynamics group has collaborated extensively with the South African aeronautical industry in general and particularly with the Denel Dynamics group (formerly Kentron) and Denel Aviation.
Internationally, the research group has collaborated with several industrial aeronautical and naval groups, including Alenia Missile Systems (now incorporated in MBDA) and Alenia-Whitehead Naval Systems.