What’s Next?

The Arnold Engineering Development Center, headquartered at Arnold AFB, Tenn., has been assisting the Department of Energy in testing drag-reduction devices to help improve fuel consumption by US truckers, employing the AEDC-operated National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex in California. DOE has been working on this effort for about seven years, but the use of the AEDC wind tunnel will provide the first hard data on various drag-reduction devices that can be attached to truck beds and their trailers. Chris Hartley, a Jacobs Technology engineer working with AEDC at the NFAC, located at NASA Ames Moffett Field, is to provide a “baseline on market and near-to-market aerodynamic improvement devices.” According to AEDC, industry experts say even a one percent improvement in the fuel efficiency rate would lower the amount of diesel fuel used annually by about 245 million gallons. (AEDC report by Philip Lorenz III)