Pressure-sensitive paint technique for surface pressure measurements in a low-density wind tunnel

M. Anyoji, D. Numata, H. Nagai, K. Asai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: A low-density wind tunnel called the Mars wind tunnel, has been developed at Tohoku University that can produce a high subsonic flow at low pressures for aerodynamic measurements of low-Reynolds-number aircraft wings aimed at developing aircraft applicable to the atmosphere on the planet Mars. Accurate surface pressure measurements on the wing are essential for analysis of not only aerodynamic performance, including lift and drag, but also the flow fields around the wing. This paper presents a surface pressure measurement technique using pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) applicable for Mars wind tunnel tests under low-pressure conditions. The results show that a PSP composed of palladium tetra(pentafluorophenyl) porphyrin (PdTFPP) and poly[1-(trimethylsilyl)-propyne] [poly(TMSP)] exhibits a high-pressure sensitivity at pressures as low as 1 kPa, and the absolute values of the static pressures measured by the PSP accorded well with the values derived from static pressure sensors used as a reference. A calibration methodology for the non-uniform pressure sensitivity on the test model, including a temperature calibration, is also established. The PSP technique clearly demonstrated pressure sensitivity over a distinctive low-pressure region inside a leading edge separation bubble on a flat plate at low Reynolds numbers.

Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-309
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Visualization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1


  • Low-pressure condition
  • Mars wind tunnel
  • Pressure-sensitive paint (PSP)
  • Temperature calibration


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