SUNY Canton Seniors Replicate NASA Findings in Wind Tunnel Experiments


The answer to two SUNY Canton students’ senior project is blowing in the wind.

Jerome Joseph and Andrew P. Fitch collaboratively rebuilt the control mechanism and testing equipment for aerodynamic experiments in the college’s wind tunnel.

Andrew Fitch makes some adjustments to the campus wind tunnel.

Previously, the college’s equipment was only capable of calculating drag and lift of a stationary object. Using NASA designs, the pair of future engineers upgraded the entire unit with three servo motors and designed custom 3D printed parts to generate more accurate data for experimentation.

“We can change the orientation of the object in a fluid stream,” Joseph said. “We can determine how those changes affects the drag and lift force.”

Andrew Fitch attaches an instrument inside the campus wind tunnel.

All the tests were conducted using a scale model of an airplane wing, again implementing NASA designs. “We knew if we could replicate their findings, we’d know that our wind tunnel and our design works,” Fitch said.

Joseph and Fitch’s project will help future students study aerodynamics. “If someone wanted to, they could test a model of any object,” Joseph said. “They’d be able to use our project and see how their design reacts.”

The college’s wind tunnel draws air through a large opening across the mounted object, which is attached to the students’ apparatus. Roll, pitch, and yaw are all controlled via a computer using an Arduino motor controller. The interface and software were also developed by Joseph and Fitch. The pair also added sensors to measure the air speed, velocity and temperature to further analyze their findings.

Joseph is from the Bronx, and Fitch came to Canton from Melbourne, Australia. Both students will be graduating from the college’s four-year Mechanical Engineering Technology program Saturday, May 15. Joseph is seeking employment and Fitch is planning on continuing his education and research at Clarkson University, Potsdam. 


About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.