The Department of Aerospace Engineering of Mississippi State University conducts laboratory experiments in Patterson Engineering Laboratories. The Aerospace Engineering Department shares Patterson Labs with other university departments including Mechanical Engineering, Physics, and Civil Engineering.
Aerospace Engineering owns over five wind tunnels ranging from subsonic to hypersonic speeds and a water tunnel. The subsonic wind tunnel has a test section of 57.5 inches in length, 48.5 inches in width, and 36.2 inches in height. A variety of models have been tested with this wind tunnel. These models consist cars, aircraft, and even sporting equipment.
The department emphasizes student activity in this lab. As an entering student into the department, the Introduction to Aerospace Engineering courses will conduct labs where the students partake in the actual running and data collecting of the experiments. These experiments include rocket building and testing, aerodynamic data from models in the wind tunnel, and many more. As a senior, the student participates in a two-course sequence that explains experimentation in more detail. This includes knowledge in data acquisition, control, and programming. The student will also conduct a research project under one the faculty members. Upon completion, the project is documented and presented in a professional manner.