Researchers use wind tunnels to test scale models of aircraft and spacecraft to address the aerodynamics problems of aircraft as they are developed. They measure and analyse the force and moments acting in all three directions (x, y, z,) on a test model. During the test, the airplane model is placed in the test section of the tunnel and air is flown past it. The process demands high levels of balance and utmost precision to withstand the severe test conditions. This is achieved by using strain gauges that provide ease of installation, remote-controlled measurement, high reliability and endurance in harsh conditions.
In this application, strain gauges offering standard resistances are used. The F-series single element and EFLK/EFLX high-temperature ultracompact strain gauges are particularly recommended. These gauges can be installed in a smaller area for measuring the mechanical properties of the aircraft model. Even before installing the gauge to the wind tunnel, the mechanical and electrical analysis for attaining the optimum method for installation is carried in order to increase sensitivity and compensate for disturbing influences. The strain gauges are also initially tested for stability and sensitivity. Then, the balance is connected over a standard interface to the data acquisition system on the wind tunnel.