Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Milton Franke, PhD


This thesis encompassed the design, development, and application of a low-speed, low-force data acquisition system for the AFIT 5-ft Wind Tunnel. The new data acquisition system was designed and developed to measure approximately 0.045 N (about 0.01 lbf) at nearly 64.4 km/h (40 mph). Verification of the capability was obtained through testing of a cylindrical model. As part of a technology transition program with Wright Laboratory, this new system was used to investigate bicycle front fork blade spacing in order to determine the optimal spacing for minimum drag. As for the minimum drag of a bicycle with an adjustable-width front fork, the spacing should be kept to a minimum. The wind tunnel was deemed to have sufficiently smooth and steady flow for conducting low-speed research at or above 29 km/h (18 mph), the minimum tunnel velocity using the rear set of motors with the flow straightener positioned directly in front of the inlet.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number