Development and validation of a mobile bluff-body to understand extreme wind loading

Antonio Zaldivar de Alba, Franklin T. Lombardo, Jason M. Lopez, Justin B. Nevill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The collection of valuable wind loading data from winds generated by convective events presents a significant challenge to the wind engineering field. The spatial and temporal characteristics of these events make data acquisition challenging. A mobile bluff-body capable of recording wind-induced pressure data during extreme wind events was developed to solve this issue. The bluff-body is called mSWERF3 for mobile Smart Wind Engineering Research Facility. This paper introduces mSWERF3, discussing its design, the scaling techniques, and validation using full-scale data from the Silsoe cube and the Wind Engineering Research Field Laboratory (WERFL) building, and wind tunnel data from the Tokyo Polytechnic University (TPU) Aerodynamic Database. The validation includes a comparison of mean, standard deviation, minimum, and maximum pressure coefficients using the Silsoe and the TPU data, and a comparison of power spectra density of surface pressures on similar flow regimes using the WERFL and the TPU data. The results of these comparisons show that the aerodynamics of mSWERF3 is similar to those in larger full-scale buildings and wind tunnel models. Therefore, it is shown that mSWERF3 can provide valuable data to improve our understanding of extreme wind loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104504
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Full-scale
  • Mobile instrumentation
  • Wind-induced pressures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering


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