Blown Away: Honda’s New Wind Tunnel Raises Research Bar

In the race to develop the most efficient vehicles, Honda took a big step this week when it opened its $124 million, state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility in central Ohio. The HALO wind tunnel will primarily be used for developing passenger cars, but it figures to pay major motorsports dividends as Honda now has its own facility where staff members work full time in a single location. Honda considers the HALO wind tunnel to be the world’s most advanced wind tunnel, with multifunctional capabilities – aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and motorsports — in one location. Other HALO wind tunnel features include a remote control system to characterize the aerodynamic performance at varying ride height conditions. The HALO wind tunnel can adjust the testing conditions from 50 degrees to 122 degrees, maintaining constant temperature. The HALO wind tunnel can be converted to acoustic mode in less than an hour, complete with a powerful system of acoustic arrays made up of microphones and cameras, collecting real-time data and precision measurement. What cannot be understated is the impact the HALO wind tunnel will have on the recruitment and development of the engineers working at the facility. Roughly two-thirds of the 20-person HALO wind tunnel staff have been hired within the past year in the buildup to the facility’s opening earlier this week. The HALO wind tunnel is configured with four secure bays allowing for third-party customers, which would include INDYCAR staff.

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