Scientists develop worlds most powerful portable hurricane simulator

June 9th, 2008 - 2:42 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 9 (ANI): A team of scientists and students from the University of Florida, US, has developed the worlds most powerful portable hurricane simulator, a giant machine capable of reproducing winds in excess of 193 kph (kilometers per hour) and recreating rain.

Weve harnessed 2,800 horse power, a locomotives worth of power, to recreate a wind field large enough to envelop part of a single family home, Forrest Masters, the man in charge of the project, told BBC News.

He and his team have strapped together eight industrial sized fans and rigged them up to four marine diesel engines so powerful that they are hooked up to a 5,000-gallon (19,000 litre) water tank just to keep the engines cooled.

The simulators wind speed and even the size and volume of raindrops are closely monitored and controlled by computer.

According to Masters, the simulator is the researchers first effort to bring the hurricane back to the laboratory, to evaluate building systems, urban landscaping and anything else that can find its way into the path of a hurricane.

The simulator was designed and built entirely by the University of Florida team and, while it is not the only simulator of its kind in existence, it can do things no other machine can.

Having the ability to recreate extreme rain and wind speeds enables the scientists to see exactly what hurricanes do to peoples homes.

Weve had many years of going into the field after a hurricane has passed through, and you definitely get your reality check after you go through and you see the thousands of people that have been displaced from their homes, said lab manager Jimmy Jeasteadt.

Thats what were in this for, to make the homes last for peoples safety, he added. (ANI)

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