An optical technique is described that is often used nowadays to measure surface pressures on wind tunnel models and flight vehicles. The technique uses luminescent coatings, which are painted on the model surface, excited by light of appropriate wavelength, and imaged with digital cameras. The intensity of the emitted light is inversely proportional to the surface pressure. Hence, the surface pressures can be measured efficiently and affordably with a high spatial resolution. The theory and chemistry of how such coatings work and the parameters that affect them are presented. The required hardware and software are described, with emphasis on the different measurement systems and procedures. The various error sources are discussed, and correction schemes that can be used to minimize them are presented. Sample results, covering a wide range of conditions and applications, are presented and discussed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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