The present paper describes the conceptual design of a three-dimensional adaptive wind tunnel capable of generating complex, unsteady flow fields in a relatively compact physical domain. The design involves multiple, independently controllable vents located around the periphery of a semi-enclosed facility. Desired flow patterns at target areas within the facility are produced by actively steering the inlet flow via appropriately adjusting the magnitude and direction of the air flow entering from each vent. The present study is motivated by a desire to incorporate tactile wind sensation into CAVE-like virtual environments, thereby increasing the overall sense of immersion in the virtual reality. The present wind tunnel design concept may also have potential application to laboratory studies of such problems as unsteady aerodynamics. Results in the present study include examples of two flow patterns obtained from numerical simulations using Fluent. Results from a companion parametric study analyzing the sensitivity of the numerical solution to mesh size and tolerance are also provided. In addition, the feasibility of using a linear-based control strategy to generate prescribed flow patterns within the wind tunnel is discussed.

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