Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Mark Reeder, PhD.


The newly acquired 6-DOF Motion Test Apparatus (MTA) was installed to perform dynamic wind tunnel testing in the AFIT Low Speed Wind Tunnel. Several complex motions revealed that the overall performance of the test rig needed improvement especially during small motions. The motions exposed that further enhancements would need to be performed individually for each joint. This research effort focused on the improvement of the MTA wrist roll motor and controller using a pitch oscillation. The controller software was improved using position feedback because the MTA wrist roll motor and controller exhibited reduced signal bias and amplitude attenuation. The enhanced system was then utilized for wind tunnel experiments along with supporting systems. A secondary position and orientation sensor, an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), was used to validate the Euler angle output calculated by the MTA Computer using forward kinematics. Four, fast-response pressure transducers were flush-mounted to the wing of the model in order to record aerodynamic data during pitch oscillations. The acquired pressure signals demonstrated signs of unsteady aerodynamic e effects such as dynamic stall. The MTA performed equally well under aerodynamic loads at tunnel speeds of 60 mph, when compared to tests performed with no freestream velocity.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number