Friday, February 5, 2010

They're gonna put me in the movies!

Actually it's TV and I hope there are at least two of you out there that get the reference.

Normally I don't talk about customers or what we do in the tunnel because of the restrictions. Some test articles are proprietary, some are restricted by treaty or by the intended use and some customers don't want us to even acknowledge that they come here to test.

However, the last two evenings, in addition to the regular customer we had in the tunnel we have been working with folks from Discovery Channel on a segment for a new series.

This particular segment is about Sailing Stones and just what it takes to move them. So we spent Wednesday evening making samples that replicated the ground of Racetrack Playa and Thursday evening and night we put the samples in the tunnel with rocks on them and tested.

Students from the Aerospace Engineering Department and Engineering Technology Department that work here at the tunnel worked on setups ran smoke visualization and staff ran the tunnel. The folks from Discovery Channel had questions about the tunnel itself and how it operates and I was elected to answer those.

Want to know what we found out? Look for the episode this spring on The Discovery Channel.

I will say this, it was loads of fun to do despite running late into the evening but a mess to clean up afterwords. Blowing dust and mud out in the desert is one thing but in a closed wind tunnel it makes a mess.

The Money Quote: "Forget Science, this is FUN!" I really hope that shot makes it into the final show and it wasn't even me who said it.

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