I used an ultrasonic water vaporiser to produce cold steam… I thought that this was safer than using an e-cigarette or fog machine in a closed environment but would not work for a wind tunnel with a larger test chamber. it was also critical to get the right volume of smoke generated and injected via a smoke rake into the laminar flow stream as smoothly as possible without causing flow disruption.
We are quite lucky as our Civcom has quite a good exposure to the wing staff and we all have a good relationship with them. We have a good amount of talent in our small Civcom and I would think that there is a huge untapped resource in the wider Civcom community if only it could be utilised properly!
To be honest it is a lot of work… however if there was enough interest I could produce a kit of parts for the difficult bits like the smoke generator and load cell array. These are mainly 3d printed and electronics / servos. The rest is constructed from readily available stuff like 5mm ply and standard size plexiglass sheets and drinking straws.