Low turbulence wind tunnel for animal flight research


    Infrastructure Details

    Name of national/international infrastructure this infrastructure belongs to

    Collaboration with researchers at Western University, Ontario, where a hypobaric wind tunnel is available.


    Aerodynamics of animal flight can be studied by several approaches. The use of wind tunnels for animal flight experiments enables the researcher to observe the flying animal while it is flying in the test section. Furthermore, the environmental conditions can be accurately controlled and monitored. Thereby, high-speed cameras register details of the wing motions, accelerations of the body and wings are measured, and the wake vortices that contain information about the magnitude and time-history of aerodynamic forces are visualized.

    The Lund wind tunnel was built in 1994. It is a low-speed low-turbulence wind tunnel which was specifically designed for studying bird flight, although nowadays we also study both bats and insects. Some of the special features of the wind tunnel are that there is an opening between the test section and the bellmouth, so the researcher can have quick and easy access to the flying animal. Also, the Lund wind tunnel can be tilted to simulate climbing and gliding flight.

    Equipment and resources

    Tomographic Particle Image Velocimetry (for flow visualization, including DaVis software), High speed imaging stereo imaging system. Fast response respirometer for metabolic measurements. Basic workshop with tools.

    Aviaries, bat room.

    Services provided

    The wind tunnel is a showcase facility for visitors at Lund University, and it is also demonstrated to the public on occasions such as “Day of Biology” (Biologins dag). The wind tunnel is demonstrated at various courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

    Management of the infrastructure

    Infrastructure has no board, it is managed by Professor Anders Hedenström, Animal Flight Lab.

    UKÄ subject classification

    • Zoology

    Type of infrastructure

    • Equipment