Tekna to supply hypersonic wind tunnel to leading aerospace OEM


Canada-based Tekna has won a multi-million dollar order to supply a PlasmaSonic wind tunnel testing facility to a leading aerospace OEM.

The order, which is worth more than CAD$9 million (US$6.6 million) will see Tekna supply the wind tunnel in 2024 for use in hypersonic flight research. The recipient of the wind tunnel was not disclosed by the company.

Tekna supplies induction plasma systems that are used for industrial R&D and produces metal powders for 3D printing. The company’s PlasmaSonic ground testing systems are used to develop the heat shield materials and thermal protection systems required for hypersonic flight and orbital re-entry vehicles.

The PlasmaSonic equipment reproduces the severe conditions of an object traveling at high velocity or during its re-entry into the atmosphere. Engineers use it to test material samples under high enthalpy, high velocity, and high heat flux conditions.

Romain Vert, director for global systems sales at Tekna said, “Hypersonic speed travel and atmospheric re-entry of space vehicles require overcoming high temperatures and pressures generated by the friction of gases that causes wear and tear on spacecraft heat shields.

“Our Plasmasonic portfolio includes an array of automated induction plasma wind tunnels, with built-in instrumentation and robotics that are designed to replicate for hours the high altitudes of around 70 km and high velocity of up to Mach 25 faced by a spacecraft during its re-entry into the atmosphere.”

Luc Dionne, CEO of Tekna said, “This is the third PlasmaSonic order within the past two years, confirming the growing interest for hypersonic and space travel and the rebound in the systems market. The equipment will be delivered in early 2024 and is a central piece to the customer’s hypersonic wind tunnel ground testing infrastructure.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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