Peer into our lab and see the state-of-the-art facilities we use in our research
The BAM Lab
Located in the SEAS building at Princeton University, this two-story laboratory is the main hub of all BAM research activities. This brand new lab in rooms D100 and D009 consists of several stations for project work, optical tables for PIV and vibrational analysis, a water channel, machine tools, an electrical work station, and a fume hood facility.
Aerodynamics Experimental System
The BAM Lab's new closed-loop wind tunnel is now up and running. The tunnel is located at the Gas Dynamic Laboratory in Princeton's Forestall Campus. With three customizable test sections, each measuring 4' x 4', and the capability to achieve speeds from 5 m/s up to 60 m/s, this wind tunnel provides a versatile platform for evaluating the aerodynamics of a wide array of bio-inspired systems spanning various sizes, including insect-scale aerodynamics, feather-inspired flow control, and flying fish locomotion. The tunnel is also equipped with two force measurement and model positioning systems in addition to a time-resolved PIV system to allow for precise adjustments to the model in multiple axes and synchronized time-resolved force and flow field measurements.
Hydrodynamics Experimental System
The water channel in the lower level of the BAM Lab is a hydrodynamics testing facility shared with the FAST Lab. The 11" x 17" cross-section spans a length of 95", achieving flow speeds of up to 0.2 m/s. Experimental models, such as the flying fish robotic model organism, can be mounted to sensors for force and torque measurements or to air bearings for free-swimming experiments. The higher density of water over air permits PIV with larger particles which are easier to capture on camera than the much smaller particles needed for PIV in a wind tunnel.
Time-Resolved Particle Image Velocimetry
Experimental Fluid Dynamics Visualizer
Particle image velocimetry (PIV) enables detailed observations of flow fields in wind tunnel and water channel experiments. Our high-resolution high-speed PIV system in Forrestal consists of a CMOS Photron NOVA R5 camera capable of imaging at 1,440 fps with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels pixels, and a 30 mJ/pulse Nd:YLF 527nm laser. This system is used to non-intrusively produce flow field velocity measurements with high spatial and temporal resolution which are then used to discover the flow physics and inform the modeling of bio-inspired engineering systems.
Extracting kinematics from robotics and fluid dynamic experiments
The Vicon system, shared by the Princeton Robotics Department, enables accurate, real-time, 3D motion tracking of BAM systems using specialized markers attached to the tracking subject. The 40 camera setup allows us to extract complex kinematics of robots including our insect-scale robots and ornithopter, as well as biological specimen such as dragonflies and grasshoppers. Vicon can be combined with multiple computer analysis programs including Tracker, for real time tracking of rigid objects, and Nexus, for tracking and post-processing of soft objects.
For experiments where we are unable to attach markers to the test subject, we have ProAnalyst. This program allows us to place digital markers any video, allowing us the flexibility to analyze kinematics from a wider variety of sources. This includes our high-speed x-ray synchotron experiments of click beetles as well as nature footage found online.
Enabling versatile and rapid prototyping
The BAM Lab 3D printing workspace contains a Prusa i3 MK3 printer, a Form 3L SLA printer, and two Ultimaker S series printers. This variety of printers allows for high quality prints with different resolutions and, depending on specific experimental needs, the ability to create multi-material parts. The ability to customize parts in material and shape to meet a wide range manufacturing and testings requirements is invaluable in a lab with an interdisciplinary focus.