Throwing Caution To The Wind:Honda Opens New World-Class Wind Tunnel in Ohio

Dustin Hawley | Mar 25, 2022

On Monday, Honda opened its new $124 million state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility, paving the way for a new era of development testing capabilities for both Honda and Acura products. 

The new Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio (HALO) facility is located in Central Ohio at the independent Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC). This facility houses the world's most technologically advanced wind tunnel, offering three separate state-of-the art testing functions — aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, and racing.

Throwing Caution To The Wind

Honda created the multifunctional HALO facility as a means to reinforce its commitment to developing exciting, fuel-efficient vehicles. The wind tunnel is one of the most advanced in the world, using a unique interchangeable modular ground plane system capable of aerodynamic vehicle testing on both production and race vehicles.

Accompanied by a five-belt rolling road system that is specifically designed for production vehicle development, the facility also has a second single wide-belt system for testing both high-performance sports cars and race vehicles. The high-powered wind tunnel can generate wind speeds of more than 190 miles per hour.

As it pertains to aeroacoustics, the tunnel can swiftly enable a sophisticated acoustic test system for in a testing mode that utilizes a powerful system of acoustic arrays made up of microphones and cameras. These components are able to collect real-time data and precision measurement, which represents an increasing importance in vehicle design as Honda moves toward an electrified future.

The wind tunnel's aerodynamic test capabilities compose a key component of this initiative, as they will help increase the range and performance of the company's future full-electric vehicles. Honda's efforts to continually advance its current position as America's most fuel-efficient and lowest CO2 full-line automaker remains a primary focus for the brand.

As the automaker moves forward in its pursuit of an electrified future, noise reduction becomes an increasingly vital element in vehicle design. Absent the noise produced by the engine and exhaust, outside elements like wind noise, will be more noticeable inside the cabin of an electric vehicle

By utilizing the acoustic test system at the new Ohio facility, Honda engineers will be able to identify the precise locations of both interior and exterior noise issues more quickly than ever before.

"Honda's product development capabilities will advance to new heights thanks to this investment in our Ohio research operations," said Jim Keller, executive vice president of Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC (HDMA) and leader of the company's North American Auto Development Center. "With this new facility, Honda is not simply investing in an advanced technology facility but in the future of the Honda engineers and other researchers who will work here."

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