Windtunnel Facilities

The Department of Geociences has two open-circuit wind tunnels which today are part of the Aarhus University wind tunnel laboratory. They are used for sand transport studies. The laboratory houses also two closed-circuit wind tunnels placed in vacuum chambers. These can be operated under low pressure and are used for Mars surface simulation experiments.

These wind tunnels were complemented by a bio-chamber especially constructed for long-term microbiological experiments under Martian atmospheric and UV conditions, and two smaller environmental chambers for chemical and physical surface reaction studies.

With the purpose of gaining information on dust-flow, -properties, -behavior, -particle size, and making experiments as on the Martian surface, one of the low-pressure wind tunnels has been in use since 2002, however, modified in 2004. The second one was taken into use in 2010. Besides being an instrument for basic research purposes, the wind tunnels are also used in instrument development, for calibrations and in tests of solar panels and other items, mainly delivered by external users, that are constructed for functioning in the dusty, cold and dry environment on Mars.


Mars Exploration Rover (NASA)

From the beginning, the Mars Simulation Laboratory has been working in close collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. The NBI was responsible for the magnetic properties experiments on NASA, Mars Pathfinder in 1997, and also for magnetic properties experiments and calibration targets on the two NASA, Mars Exploration Rovers that landed on Mars in January 2004. Magnetic dust capture experiments and quantification experiments with Mössbauer spectroscopy and x-ray fluorescence was part of the NBI wind tunnel experiments.