Hess tower field laboratory


Hess Tower overview:

  • 29 stories; 488 ft overall height.
  • Built in 2010 as Houston’s first downtown 'LEED Platinum' office building.
  • Includes a green roof, sustainable water strategies, and option for rooftop wind harvesting.
  • Located adjacent to a 12-acre urban park (Discovery Green).

Field laboratory overview:

  • Roof access granted in partnership with CBRE, Hess Corporation, and H&R Real Estate Investment Trust.
  • CSAT3B (Campbell Scientific) 3-D sonic anemometer assembly stations that can measure local 3-components of velocity and sound speed at up to 100 Hz.  
  • CR6 datalogger (Campbell Scientific) for simultaneous recording of all sensor assemblies.

Low-speed wind tunnel


  • Closed-loop facility.
  • 30 m/s top speed. 
  • 3.5 ft x 5.5 ft x 20 ft test section with full optical access. 
  • Additional 20 ft length of test section without optical access.
  • Dual 30hp Toshiba AC motors with Toshiba variable frequency drives and closed-loop speed control system.

Test section equipment:

  • Traversing system for three-dimensional probe positioning controlled by LabView. 
  • Multi-hole pressure probe (Cobra probe; Turbulent flow Instrumentation) that can measure local 3-components of velocity and static pressure at sample rates up to 600 Hz.
  • Propylene glycol smoke generator (AeroLab)

Other Major resources

High-speed cameras:

  • Two VEO-L 641 cameras from Vision Research.
  • Each camera equipped with 72GB RAM. 
  • Resolution up to 2560 x 1600 pixels (4MP) at 1400 fps.
  • Capable of up to 360,000 fps at reduced resolution.

High-speed laser system:

  • Nd:YLF Dual Cavity Diode Pumped Solid State Laser from Photonics Industries.
  • Laser output is 2 x 35 mJ/pulse at 527 nm and 1 kHz repetition rate.
  • Capable of up to 10 kHz repetition rate from each head.