The Department of Physics and Astronomy has two open-circuit wind tunnels and two closed circuit, low-pressure wind tunnels, which are part of the Planetology Laboratory.The open circuit wind tunnels are used for sand transport studies and the closed circuit wind tunnels are used for Mars surface experiments.
These wind tunnels were complemented by a bio-chamber constructed for long-term microbiological experiments under Martian atmospheric and UV conditions, and two smaller environmental chambers for chemical and physical surface reaction studies.
Besides being an instrument for basic research purposes, the wind tunnels are also used in instrument development, for calibrations and in tests of solar panels and other items that are constructed for functioning in the dusty, cold and dry environment on Mars.
The Mars Simulation Laboratory has been working in close collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. The NBI was responsible for the magnetic properties experiments on NASA’s, Mars Pathfinder in 1997, and for magnetic properties experiments on the two NASA, Mars Exploration Rovers that landed on Mars in January 2004. Magnetic dust capture experiments and experiments with Mössbauer spectroscopy and x-ray fluorescence was part of the NBI wind tunnel experiments.