Detection of boundary-layer transition in a cryogenic wind tunnel by using luminescent paint

Keisuke Asai, Hiroshi Kanda, Tetsuya Kunimasu, Tianshu Liu, John P. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A technique for boundary-layer transition detection in a cryogenic wind tunnel has been developed. This technique is based on the thermal quenching of luminescent molecules. Calibration results show that luminescence of the paint composed of ruthenium complex and silicone polymer is strongly sensitive to temperature over the range from 90 to 220 Kelvin. This capability allows one to visualize thermal signatures across the boundary-layer transition. A thin paint coating has been applied on three airfoil models with different thermal insulation properties. The paint was excited by a Xenon light and the luminescence image was acquired using a high resolution digital camera. To enhance the surface temperature signatures between laminar and turbulent regions, either the flow or the model substrate was cooled or heated in an active manner. Transition patterns have been successfully visualized by processing the luminescent images. Boundary-layer transition has been detected by using this technique over a cryogenic temperature range from 90 to 150 Kelvin in subsonic and transonic flows.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes
EventAdvanced Measurement and Ground Testing Conference, 1996 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 1996 Jun 171996 Jun 20


OtherAdvanced Measurement and Ground Testing Conference, 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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