A geek's guide to Porsche's secret development centre: part 4

We have a nosey around Porsche's secret development site and discover how the wind tunnel can replicate speeds of 300 km/h

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Aeroacoustic wind tunnel

When a new wind tunnel was unveiled at Porsche's Development Centre in 2015, its main job was to provide realistic measurements on a secret prototype "travelling" at speeds of 300 km/h.

For this, an interchangeable belt system is used, which moves the surface under the vehicle. This clever device makes it possible to realistically reproduce the flow under the floor of a car and in the wheel wells, even at such high speeds.

For a driver and passengers, however, it’s not just lift and downforce and drag that make the difference to a comfortable ride – but interior wind noise. With the increasing spread of whisper-quiet electric vehicles, this is becoming even more important.

Porsche experts now devote roughly one in six measurements to aeroacoustics. At Weissach, the team has a measuring field with roughly 600 microphones mounted next to and above the vehicle being tested – creating a kind of acoustic photograph that can be used to precisely locate the source of disturbing noises. Protruding as it does into the wind, the exterior mirror is particularly vexatious.

If the aerodynamics engineers decide that more improvements are needed, they gather in the control room with acoustics specialists, bodywork experts, ergonomics engineers and designers and the disciplines put their heads together to look for remedies. The highly specialised men and women operate the aeroacoustics wind tunnel and other smaller wind tunnels quite literally around the clock.

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