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Max-Eyth-Allee 100

14469 Potsdam


Tel. +49 (0)331 5699-0


Coordinating institute

Boundary layer wind tunnel

Visualising air stream with laser light sectioning (Photo: Stollberg/ATB)

Contact: Dipl.-Ing. David Janke, Department Engineering for Livestock Management

missions of odour and pollutants are largely allocated to agricultural sources. Greenhouse gases are known to have a global influence (climate change). Ammonia (NH3) and odour emissions cause damage to the environment or nuisances at regional level and in the vicinity of livestock houses. Our research focusses on the analysis, assessment and further development of animal husbandry systems and technologies with regard to the reduction of emissions. For this purpose basic research is carried out tageting at the interactions between livestock and their environment.

The large atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) is a unique research facility in which concepts and methods from meteorology and agricultural engineering are integrated in novel research experiments. The complex agri-aerodynamic processes in the ground-level layers of the atmosphere can be systematically investigated with the wind tunnel. Statistically representative results are gained, which in turn allow the development of technical solutions for the development of environmentally compatible and competitive agricultural production processes. Wind tunnel measurements are an effective tool for such investigations, since they allow a systematic variation of the external boundary conditions and of technology optimisation options.

This boundary layer wind tunnel is used to investigate the flow and propagation processes of agricultural buildings, as well as through-flow and ventilation processes within the buildings. With a length of 18 m, a height of 2.3 m and a width of 3.0 m, the wind tunnel is one of the largest agricultural science wind tunnels. Livestock building models can be installed on a scale of 1:100 to 1: 300.



Boundary layer wind tunnel (Photo: ATB)
View into the boundary layer wind tunnel

In the boundary layer wind tunnel, speed and turbulence fields can be measured with high temporal and spatially resolution under controlled laboratory conditions. A Laser-Doppler-Anemometer is used to measure the flow parameters mentioned above. Constant-Temperature anemometer and so-called Prandtl Pressure Probes are additionally available for velocity measurements. Furthermore, vortexes and structures can be visualised within the airflow by means of laser light sections. The data sets produced in this way are suitable for the validation and further development of numerical propagation models as well as for the completion of existing data from field experiments. Natural data can be supplemented by additional measuring locations, or further information can be obtained by systematic variations of the external boundary conditions.

Dispersion or propagation studies of tracer gas emissions represent an additional important field of application of the boundary layer wind tunnel. With precisely defined laboratory conditions, emission sources and their flow-induced propagation and dilution can be detected three-dimensionally in high temporal and spatial resolution by means of flame ionization detectors (Fast-FIDs). These results are used to develop structural and ventilation technology solutions that lead to a reduction in emissions with minimum energy consumption.


Possible applications in the agricultural sector: 

  • Development of structural and ventilation engineering solutions for animal husbandry facilities to reduce the emission potential.
  • Investigation of the spread of odour, gas and infectious particles from livestock and / or biogas plants as well as the liquid manure storage for the development of aerial strategies in densely populated rural areas also taking into account the topography.


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Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. · Max-Eyth-Allee 100 · 14469 Potsdam · Germany · Tel. +49 (0)331 5699 0 · E-mail