Wind Tunnel Force Sensor

Background Goals and Objectives:

The objective of our project is to design and prove the functionality of a 6-axis wind tunnel force sensor. The sensor is designed with cost and manufacturing in mind first, as the goal is to replace the $10,000 force sensor previously used in the lab with a sensor that is roughly $200. Our prospective design utilizes strain gauges in a Wheatstone bridge configuration to transduce forces coming into an elastic element. From the strain gauges, we will record data into a microcontroller and produce readings in real time. From our research and experimentation, our design has the capabilities of being successful and reaching our sponsor's goal.

More Information:

The key components of this project revolve around a transducer and an elastic element that receives a signal produced by the wind. Our analysis was done on these two components, as well as a configuration for our strain gauges to accurately interpret read roll, pitch, and yaw. We found importance in reducing noise when recording signals using strain gauges, which are typically achieved with electronic and positional configurations. Additionally, another major part of this project is designing a data acquisition and user interface system that allows people to visualize the readings of the sensor in real-time and with modularity from the sensor itself.

Link to Existing Solutions and References:

[1] “Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt Üniversitesi,” | -%20BY%20USING%20STRAIN%20GAUGE.pdf
[2] D. E. Burns and P. A. Parker, “Additively Manufactured Wind-Tunnel Balance,” Journal of Aircraft, pp. 1–6, Apr. 2020, doi:
[3] S. Marin, Sandu Adriana, and Ionaşcu Georgeta, “Design of a compact six-component force and moment sensor for aerodynamic testing,” INCAS Buletin, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 95–100, Mar. 2011, doi:


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Team Contact:

David Karayan (


Derek Irwin ( and Moses Choi (

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The objective of our project is to design and prove the functionality of a 6 axis wind tunnel force sensor. The sensor is design