A novel support mechanism for a wind tunnel model is designed, built, and demonstrated on an aerodynamic platform undergoing dynamic maneuvers, tested with periodic motions up to 20 Hz. The platform is supported by a 6-DOF (six degrees of freedom) traverse that utilizes eight thin wires, each mounted to a servo motor with an in-line load cell to accurately monitor or control the platform motion and force responses. The system is designed such that simultaneous control of the servo motors effects motion within ±50 mm translations, ±15° pitch, ±9° yaw, and ±8° roll at lower frequencies. The traverse tracks a desired trajectory and resolves the induced forces on the platform at 1 kHz. The effected motion of the platform is measured at 0.6 kHz with a motion capture system, which utilizes six near-infrared (NIR) cameras for full spatial and temporal resolution of the platform motion, which is used for feedback control. The traverse allows different platform model geometries to be tested, and the present work demonstrates its capabilities on an axisymmetric bluff body. Programmable timed outputs are synchronized relative to the model motion and can be used for triggering external systems and processes. In the present study, particle image velocimetry (PIV) is used to characterize the realized wakes of the platform undergoing canonical motions that are effected by this new wind tunnel traverse.
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