A review of pressure-sensitive paint for high-speed and unsteady aerodynamics

J. W. Gregory, K. Asai, M. Kameda, T. Liu, J. P. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Citations (Scopus)


The current paper describes the development of pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) technology as an advanced measurement technique for unsteady flow fields and short-duration wind tunnels. Newly developed paint formulations have step response times approaching 1μs, making them suitable for a wide range of unsteady testing. Developments in binder technology are discussed, which have resulted in new binder formulations such as anodized aluminium, thin-layer chromatography plate, polymer/ceramic, and poly(TMSP) PSP. The current paper also details modeling work done to describe the gas diffusion properties within the paint binder and understand the limitations of the paint response characteristics. Various dynamic calibration techniques for PSP are discussed, along with summaries of typical response times. A review of unsteady and high-speed PSP applications is presented, including experiments with shock tubes, hypersonic tunnels, unsteady delta wing aerodynamics, fluidic oscillator flows, Hartmann tube oscillations, acoustics, and turbomachinery. Flowfields with fundamental frequencies as high as 21 kHz have been successfully measured with porous PSP formulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-290
Number of pages42
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • High-speed flows
  • Porous pressure-sensitive paint
  • Pressure-sensitive paint
  • Unsteady aerodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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