Skip to main content


Research Facilities at the Department of Aerospace Engineering


EPH102  Aerospace Biomechanics Laboratory

This research facility was established to perform mechanical testing on soft tissue in isolation. This facility is jointly funded by Defense Research Development Canada/Toronto (DRDC) and NSERC. It was establish in May 2004 with a Class A testing license.  The Class A license allows the researcher to perform testing on isolated tissues but does not warrant the slaughtering of live animals for testing. The current major equipment in the laboratory consists of automated biaxial testing apparatus with 50 N maximum loading capacity to perform various test protocols, a CCD camera to measure the strain and a saline circulating bath for tissue preservation. This apparatus is a multi functional system as it can be used to test elastomer and rubber like materials. The apparatus can be used to determine stress-strain relationship, stress relaxation and creep compliance properties of tissues.





EPH132  Space Avionics and Instrumentation Laboratory (SAIL)
Principle Investigator: John Enright

This laboratory is used to study spacecraft navigation sensors. These sensors estimate the spacecraft?s attitude by measuring the angle between an external target and one or more satellite axes. The most common sensors are designed to observe the Earth, the Sun, or stars. The SAIL facility can be divided into three main categories. The test infrastructure includes a three-axis rotary motion platform, data collection electronics, and a number of devices that simulate the observable properties of the sensor targets. The support infrastructure consists of general laboratory equipment such as oscilloscopes and power supplies. Last, the computer infrastructure is used during experiments to control the motion and data acquisition functions of the test infrastructure, and will also provide a facility for off-line sensor modelling and design.




EPH132  Aerospace Vision Management Lab

This research laboratory, funded by seed and NSERC funds, is established to test and develop advanced computer vision algorithms for aerospace applications. The current major equipment consists of a powerful dual-processor PC with two monitors, two CCD cameras with tripods, National Instrument Vision Unit which delivers real-time capabilities, camera calibration board, a platform to mount the objects for simulation of docking space operations.

In the near future, research on remote dimensioning (wrinkle measurements) of ultra-thin space structure such as solar sails will be performed, and the lab will have models of these type of structures.


EPH343A  Aerospace Systems and Control Laboratory
Principle Investigator:  Guangjun Liu

The systems and control research laboratory was established with a mandate to conduct research in the areas of systems modelling and control, focusing on aerospace systems and robotics. With the funding of NSERC Equipment, CRD, and Research grants, as well as research grants from industry and the University, the following research projects have been conducted recently or are currently in progress: 1) aircraft engine bleed flow sharing control that involves the development of efficient and practical engine bleed flow sharing control methods, as well as modelling, simulation and experimental investigations; 2) systems fault detection and fault tolerant control with consideration of both sensor and actuator faults; 3) precise robot motion control with friction compensation using a proposed decomposition-based control approach; and 4) development of intelligent thermal flow sensor and actuator control systems with aerospace applications. Experimental investigation plays an essential role in most of the research projects. The laboratory is currently equipped with 1) a flow sharing control system test facility that integrates compressor, high pressure air tanks, flow channels with electrical actuators and valves, flow and pressure sensors, and a PC-based interfacing and control system capable of testing various control methods; 2) a dual direct-drive robot arms system with force sensing and network-based control capabilities; 3) a real-time precise motion measurement system based on a laser dynamic calibrator; and 4) several PC computers and various software packages. A modular and reconfigurable robot is currently being developed as part of a recent NSERC CRD project.


EPH345  Aerospace Computational Laboratory

This lab is used for computationally moderate to large simulations.  The room has various models of Sun workstations to meet these needs.  All seventeen workstations can be used by graduate students.


EPH346  Server Room / HPCVL

This server room houses the department's secondary servers and the Toronto node of the HPCVL project.  These servers can be used remotely by graduate students for larger simulations.


KHS037  Large Subsonic Wind Tunnel

Ryerson has a well-equipped closed-circuit subsonic wind tunnel for low-speed aerodynamic evaluation of various test models (approx. 3 ft. x 3 ft. test section, 100 mph maximum flow speed).  The tunnel measures 17 ft. x 43 ft., with a working test section 60 in. long.  The velocity can be controlled and varied from 10 to 72 ft./second at the working section.  The mean velocity variations of the test section are within 0.5%, with a longitudinal turbulence intensity of less than 0.4%.

The tunnel incorporates a three-component T.E.M. Wind Tunnel Balance (Model 4124).  This parallel motion balance measures lift, drag and pitching moment on the model mounted on the strut platform over the tunnel working section.  The load ranges and sensitivities are as follows:

Lift force:              0 - 150 lbs. max with 0.05 lb. sensitivity

Drag force:           0 -   60 lbs. max with 0.02 lb. sensitivity

Pitching moment:   0 - 240 lb.-in at 0.25 lb.-in sensitivity

Incident range:      -10  to  40 degrees

Analog voltage outputs are available from each parameter or can be introduced directly to a Daytronic data acquisition system which utilizes a block diagram based application construction program AVisual Designer.  This displays and records live aerodynamic parameters (velocity, temperature, lift, drag, pitching moment and angle of incidence).



KHE021  Aerospace Propulsion/ Heat Transfer Laboratory
Principle Investigator:  David Greatrix

This larger laboratory houses two principal areas for undergraduate experiments in aerospace propulsion, and aerospace-related heat transfer.  On the propulsion side, a recently acquired 40-lbf-thrust turbojet engine/test cell will enhance the students? understanding of gas turbine engine operation. Additionally, propulsion systems in the lab also include a small pulsejet engine and cold-flow rocket that are also available for operation in an undergraduate learning environment. On the aerospace heat transfer side, two experiments are presently being made available for the students: a thermal conductivity experiment, and a forced convection experiment, that are tied to aerospace temperature-control applications.


KHE128  Avionics & Systems/Flight Mechanics Laboratory

In this laboratory, a number of PC stations, equipped with control/wheel columns and rudder pedals as add-on hardware and operating X-PLANE flight simulation software, provide the students with an intensive flight simulation environment.  A wide variety of flight vehicles, for both air and space applications, can be operated by the students in the flight simulation environment, providing them information on the vehicle?s flight performance characteristics and on the cockpit instrumentation display appropriate for that vehicle?s flight control.  Other software, including MATLAB/Simulink, is also available to the students as an aid to completing their control and flight systems based projects.


KHE128  A Propulsion Research Facility
Principle Investigator:  David Greatrix

At Ryerson's Propulsion Research Facility (PRF), efforts continue on developing research capabilities for modelling and evaluation of the steady and unsteady internal flows in various propulsion systems, including solid, hybrid, and liquid propellant rocket engines, and jet-engine afterburner jet pipes.  A rocket static test firing capability exists for small-scale motors, with low- and high-speed data acquisition for such parameters as thrust, internal chamber pressure, exhaust temperature, casing wall vibration level, and external casing wall temperature.  Research continues on the investigation of the coupling of axial and transverse structural oscillation of the combustor with the internal combustion and flow. Cold-flow motor-simulation experimental facilities exist for evaluating internal gas dynamic and structural behavior of an axially vibrating chamber, and interaction of a shock wave on a choked nozzle convergence. In conjunction with vibration and gas dynamic studies on solid rockets, there is the ongoing development of a spin-test apparatus for evaluation of normal acceleration (steady-state) effects on solid and hybrid propellant combustion in spinning motors. These studies are expected to increase the design capability for anticipating and eliminating the appearance of various symptoms associated with combustion instability in these rockets, and allow for higher performance early on in the design phase. Additional PRF activities include solid-propellant rocket design and development, with current work proceeding on the Small-Payload High-Altitude Delivery System (SPHADS) sounding rocket program.  Research related to the SPHADS program includes analysis, modelling and simulation for the development of the flight dynamic and control characteristics of unmanned aircraft, including rocket vehicles such as the SPHADS system.  The Rocket Motor Casing Hydrostatic Tester has been commissioned for pressure-testing new lightweight motor casing structural designs and materials.





ENGB13, 14, 15   Facility for Research on Aerospace Materials and Engineered Structures (FRAMES)
Principle Investigators:  Zouheir Fawaz

FRAMES, funded by CFI Infrastructure Grant, is a state-of-the-art, leading edge centre of innovation for Aerospace Materials and Structures. It places Ryerson's Aerospace Engineering Department in a unique situation to undertake research collaborations with the burgeoning Aerospace Industry in Ontario and Canada and to provide opportunities for training HQP (Highly Qualified Personnel). The FRAMES infrastructure is established to fulfil two major roles: first, provide a means for performing full-scale structural testing of aerospace components manufactured from advanced materials; and second, to allow for characterization testing of advanced aerospace materials. Full-scale structural tests for aerospace components require the application of forces and moments in varying magnitudes and frequencies at multiple points on the structure. To satisfy these test requirements, FRAMES is equipped with a self-reacting modular load frame, an epoxy-coated strong floor with two embedded T-groove mounting plates and multiple hard points, a MTS 12-channel controller, and seven linear fatigue-rated hydraulic actuators with capacities that range from 5 kips to 100 kips and one rotary hydraulic actuator with a capacity of 20 kip-in. These actuators are powered by two high capacity hydraulic pumps.  Also FRAMES is equipped with a 44-channel data acquisition system to collect data from a combination of strain gauges, load cells, displacement transducers, and thermocouples for monitoring structural deformation under applied loads. On the advanced materials testing side, FRAMES is equipped with a stand-alone MTS 322.31 materials testing load frame with a capacity of 55 kips. The MTS load frame is configured with a T-slot table, a 4-channel MTS TESTSTAR servo-controller, 10 ksi hydraulic grips, a MTS 652 split-tube furnace for high temperature testing up to 1000 deg C, and an environmental chamber. FRAMES has an air gun for high velocity impact testing of advanced materials and will have a crash facility for aerospace and automotive components. FRMAES is located in the Engineering Building with 5000 sq. ft. of double-height, temperature-controlled laboratory space.



ENG157  Ryerson Satellite Attitude Control Experiment  (RACE)

RACE is a self-contained modular satellite attitude motion and control test bed. The platform bus is mounted on a rotary air bearing with no umbilical attachments, providing a close emulation of the frictionless environment of space. The bus physically resembles a microsatellite in the 50kg mass range. External appendages may be attached to provide low-frequency flexible response or removed to mimic a rigid spacecraft. Onboard systems include batteries, a reaction wheel, a bidirectional thruster, angular and rate sensors, and more, all operated by an embedded PC computer system. Host software supports user-developed control programs with executive system control and monitoring provided by an external user-interface computer connected via wireless ethernet.




ENG141  Aerospace Computer Server Facility

This facility houses all of the department's main servers.  (Fileservers, DNS, computation servers.)  These servers handle storage and backup of data and software used by graduate students.  This room also houses the servers for the RIADI project.





ENG132  Aerospace Stress Analysis Laboratory

The stress analysis laboratory is primarily an undergraduate facility with application to a graduate course teaching. It is funded by department budget and consists of application of strain gauges and photo-elasticity in stress analysis of components and structures. The major equipment are a hydraulic pump, a pressure vessel, two transparent type polariscope, two small reflective type polariscope, two load transducers and total of three static strain gauge indicators. In total,  it accommodates up to eight different laboratory exercises. In this laboratory the principal of strain gauge layup and circuitry is discussed, the application and detail design of strain gauge based transducers are covered, and finally the theory and application of photo-elasticity is explained.




ENG124 The High-Speed Gasdynamics Laboratory

The development high-speed aircraft requires an understanding of a number of subjects such as hypersonic aerodynamics, high-speed propulsion, and basic fluid dynamics. Although numerical techniques using specialized computer software provides insight into high-speed flight, these codes must be validated through experiment using high-speed wind tunnels. The Department of Aerospace Engineering is developing a high-speed wind tunnel capable of speeds up to Mach 4 to permit research in such flight regimes. Two 5 cubic meter storage tanks which will be filled with high pressure air from a 170 psi, 55 cfm compressor facility. These tanks will drive air through the tunnel in test runs lasting up to 10 seconds. Reynolds numbers of approximately 50 million per meter of model length will be possible. Models will be placed in a test section of 50 square centimetre cross-sectional area framed by precision optical glass. The shockwaves emanating from models in the wind tunnel produce slight changes in the optical properties of the air as it flows over the model. The department?s Schlieren photography system captures images of the shock field through the optical glass based on the variation of refraction index of the air. Surface pressures on a model are measured using pressure taps spaced regularly on its surface. The high-speed wind tunnel will enhance research in the department in a number of fields. High-speed aerodynamics will benefit from detailed knowledge of the shockwave field about model aircraft. Interactions of viscous boundary layers that develop over all aircraft and shockwaves can be studied. Validation and development of turbulence models for high-speed flows will benefit from such a facility.



Aero-Thermal Management Laboratory (ATML)
Principal Investigator: Professor Bassam Jubran

Research experimental and computational facilities include a subsonic wind tunnel, a hot wire anemometry system, and CFD software which are used to measure and simulate the thermal and hydro-mechanical characteristics of various innovative cooling techniques for thermal management applications. The lab also has access to a state of art supercomputing facility called "Performance Computing Virtual Laboratory" (HPCVL).




Multiple Events
Single Event
Upcoming Events & Dates