Test & Measurement

Wall of Wind' Creates Hurricane-Force Winds to Test Construction

Civil Engineer Arindam Chowdhury and his team at Florida International University and the International Hurricane Research Center recreate monster hurricane force winds in hopes of helping us better prepare for the real thing. With support from the National Science Foundation, Chowdhury's team designed a 15-foot tall 'Wall of Wind,' aptly nicknamed WOW. The wall is made up of 12 giant fans, which can create the intensity of a Category 5 hurricane with 157 mile-an-hour winds if they are running at full blast. The goal is to see if low rise structures, building materials, and solar panels can withstand the same wind forces they would face in a full-blown hurricane.