National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Wallops Flight Facility


The primary objectives of the facility is to test theoretical results and to collect empirical data for the development of remote sensing techniques, in support of microwave remote sensor development and algorithms for air-sea interaction studies within the framework of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


The main wind-wave-current interaction test section is 60 feet (18.29 meters) long, 4 feet (1.22 meters) high, and 3 feet (.91 meters) wide, filled to a water depth of 2.5 feet (.76 meters), with 1.5 feet (.45 meters) remaining for air flow. The facility is capable of winds up to 18 meters/sec, along with water current in either direction of about .5 knot (51 centimeters/sec) generated by pumping 100 gallons/sec through the facility’s 16 inch pipes. Electronically controlled hydraulic units at both ends of the tank can generate any wave frequency or pattern up to 10 Hz. The computer control of wind, current, and hydraulic wave generating units can accurately repeat unsteady phenomena to allow its statistical study, as well as automate the facility operation. The water within the facility can be heated and maintained at warm temperatures, while the air flow can be cooled and humidity controlled at cool temperatures.