Wind Tunnel Investigation of the Wind Patterns in the Launching Pad Area of the Brazilian Alcântara Launch Center

Amanda Felippe Faria, Ana Cristina Avelar, Gilberto Fisch


This paper presents a wind tunnel study of the flow patterns in the main Brazilian Space Port, the Alcântara Launch Center (ALC), located in the Northwest region, over an irregular coastal cliff of 40 m height. In the ALC region, constant winds of strong incidence are very common, which can change the characteristics of the atmospheric boundary layer and affect safety conditions during launching operations. This study was conducted using a scaled model of the Launching Pad Area (LPA) in ALC complex with the purpose of getting insights about the wind flow patterns, as zones of strong vorticity, in that region when the wind incidence angle and coastal cliff characteristics change. The experiments were carried out in an aerodynamic wind tunnel, and for this reason it was necessary to use some techniques described in the literature to simulate an atmospheric boundary layer in a short test section wind tunnel. Hot-wire anemometer measurements were carried out for turbulence level evaluation with empty wind tunnel test section, and a two-dimensional Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) was used for flow field velocity measurements in different confi gurations of wind incidence angle (α), Reynolds number and coastal cliff slope angle (β).


Alcântara Launch Center (ALC); Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV); Wind incidence; Mobile Integration Tower (MIT); Launching Pad Area (LPA)

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