The present paper describes the design of the TreadPort Adaptive Wind Tunnel (TPAWT), which is a wind tunnel retrofit to the University of Utah Treadport Virtual Environment (VE). The TPAWT integrates haptic wind sensation with the preexisting VE, which includes a large tilting treadmill and a cave-like frontal visual display. Desired flow patterns at the center of the TPAWT (where the VE user stands) are generated by appropriately steering the inlet airstream from two sets of vents embedded in the side walls of the facility. Hypothetically, the addition of haptic wind sensation in the virtual environment will improve the sense of immersion in the virtual reality. The present study focuses on quantifying the sensitivity of the flow field inside the TPAWT to perturbations in boundary conditions at the vents. Results from three-dimensional and two-dimensional numerical simulations are compared to laboratory experiments in a 1:4 scale model of the TPAWT. The stability of the flow near the VE user is shown to be highly sensitive to the angle of the mean flow at the vent boundary.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.