Major test facilities

The Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel at the CSTB site in Nantes is used for full-scale studies of building and construction components, as well as of vehicles and transport equipment. All types of climate conditions can be reproduced: snow, rain, sleet, fog, sandstorms, cyclones, heatwaves, etc.

Water cycle in construction

A broad range of climatic parameters

The dynamic circuit includes three test sections. The space-time structure of wind, rain and sandstorms up to 90 km/h can be reproduced in the environmental test section. The high-speed test section is equipped with a force balance which measures the aerodynamic coefficients of automobiles and components at speeds of up to 280 km/h.

The thermal circuit reproduces a wide range of climates in combination with air flows up to 140 km/h. The ambient temperature and humidity are closely controlled. Various types of precipitation are reproduced, such as rain, fog and snow. The system being studied can also be subjected to intense radiant flux from the solar simulator.

The Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel offers a wide range of testing possibilities for areas as diverse as construction and civil engineering, national defense, shipyards, automotive industry, aerospace, etc.

Diverse areas of activity and services

Product design and performance

  • Effects of the wind on structures and components, on buildings, machines, vehicles: loads, holding force, deformation, vibrations, dynamic behavior and stability, partial destruction, aeroacoustic noise, cyclone resistant design, etc.
  • The effects of wind, combined with other climatic parameters: thermo-hygro-mechanical properties of facades and windows, weathertightness of roofs, fogging and condensation, infiltration, soiling, etc.
  • Study and performance of materials and machines exposed to wind, water, air, temperature, snow, sun radiation, sand and dust, especially in harsh climate conditions
  • Studying industrial aerodynamics requires full-scale experiments: road vehicles, ships, sailboats, rotating machines and wind turbines, sensors, special equipment
  • Study of effluent dispersion and specifications for air curtain systems


  • Soiling
  • Aeroacoustics
  • Controlled aerodynamic and air flow fields
  • Air flow, ventilation, air quality and thermal systems
  • Sealed against water, air, effluents, dust
  • Air-conditioning and air renewal
  • Biophysics and climate environment

Vehicle safety

  • Control of projections and spray from wheels
  • Visibility in rain and fog conditions
  • Stability in wind gusts
  • Defogging
  • Behavior of mechanical units in extreme climate conditions
  • Aerodynamics of exhaust pipes and indoor air quality