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Aerospace Engineering

Facilities and Lab Spaces

Aerospace Engineering Laboratory Spaces 

High Speed, Low Speed, and Supersonic Wind Tunnels

The United States Naval Academy is one of few institutions where undergraduates get hands on experience using multiple kinds of wind tunnels. With Educational Wind Tunnels, Large Closed and Open-Circuit Wind Tunnels, and a Supersonic Wind Tunnel capable of operating at Mach 4.2. Aero-focused students on the Aerospace Engineering Track have the opportunity to take a class that focuses on the requirements, operations, and techniques used when operating wind tunnels.



Effiel Open-Circuit Wind Tunnel (2021)




Overview of Aerospace Lab Space featuring Aerospace Engineering Students. Supersonic Wind Tunnel is Covered (2021)


Rotor Lab

A full-size helicopter rotor test cell is available for students who focus on rotary wing aircraft. USNA is one of the few undergraduate institutions to let students focus on rotary wing aircraft prior to graduate education. 


Rotor Laboratory Space Set-Up (2021)

Water Table

Our water table helps students visual the physics of air flow with water and shockwaves off different geometric cross sections of air foils or general shapes. Water behaves in a similar manner to complex supersonic air flows and is often used to study the complex interactions of shock waves in jet engine nozzles and exhausts, around blunt atmospheric re-entry bodies, and over high speed air foils. The water table is much cheaper to operate then the supersonic wind tunnel and is used in student's introductory courses, propulsion courses, and specific astrodynamics courses. 


Water Table with Airfoil Cross Section (2021)



Water Table with Gemini Capsule Cross Section (2021)




Water Table with Space Shuttle Cross Section (2021)


Structures Lab

During 3/C and 2/C year, students use the structures lab to apply what they have been learning in their statics and structures classes. The lab technicians often help the professors run the experiments and let students assist them during the demonstrations. 


Class Watching the Lab Technician do a Demonstration



Large-Scale Set-Up for Strain and Stress Testing

Small Satellite Lab Construction Lab, Clean Room and Testing Facilities

The USNA's Small Satellite Lab houses a clean room and construction space for construction of funded projects for the Small Satellite Club and Capstone Research Projects that go up into space.


Satellite Construction Lab Space (2021)



Satellite Lab Clean Room (2021)

The USNA also has a satellite testing lab consisting of a vacuum testing chamber and cold testing chamber to simulate the space environment for small satellite materials and components. 


Satellite Testing Lab Cold Testing Chamber (2021)



Satellite Testing Lab Vacuum Chamber (2021)



Satellite Testing Lab Vibration Table (2021)

USNA Ground Station

The USNA Ground Station, which is currently being updated, communicates with the small satellites the team has put into space and other orbiting spacecraft to include the International Space Station feed. 


USNA Ground Station (2020)

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