pressure-sensitive paint

pressure-sensitive paint

[‚presh·ər ‚sen·səd·iv ′pānt]
(fluid mechanics)
A flow visualization technique in which ultraviolet light is used to excite specific molecules in a special paint affixed to a test surface positioned in a wind tunnel flow. The resulting phosphorescence of these molecules indicates the amount of oxygen in contact with the paint and, thereby, the spatial distribution of surface pressure.
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AEDC's wind tunnels also provide testing for store separation, pressure-sensitive paint capability and captive trajectory support testing.
"For pressure-sensitive paint, we put dyes in the polymer that are permeable to oxygen," says Bruce Carroll, associate professor at the Univ.
"The cameras are back illuminated for higher quantum efficiency," says Chris Meyers, regional sales manager for Princeton Instruments, Trenton, N.J., the manufacturer of the TEA/CCD-1024SB camera used by many pressure-sensitive paint researchers.
CCD cameras are particularly well suited for pressure-sensitive paint work because of their high contrast sensitivity, says Robert LaBelle, applications engineer for Photometrics, Tucson, Ariz.
In addition to pressure-sensitive paint research, CCD cameras like those made by Princeton Instruments and Photometrics are used in other applications like Raman spectroscopy and astronomy.
For McDonnell Douglas' tests of its joint strike fighter program, eight cameras were trained on a model coated in pressure-sensitive paint. Together, the cameras used a gigabyte of memory for each image.
The camouflage of colors that result from pressure-sensitive paint measurements create a landscape of data that rivals the amount generated by computational fluid dynamics, Carroll says.
Pressure-sensitive paint offers great promise because it's not physically limited like that."
There are some limitations to the pressure-sensitive paint technology.
Pressure-sensitive paints replace hundreds of transducers to quickly show specific pressure distributions in wind-tunnel models.
"Pressure-sensitive paint gives you lots more information at a lower cost."
"A lot of people are looking toward the day when they can compare an experimental picture made using pressure-sensitive paint with the [computational fluid dynamics] picture generated by computer codes," Berrier says.
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