Advanced Visualization Methods

PSP illumination in STARCS T1500.

Advanced Visualization Methods

In addition to the measurement of forces and moments, which is the purpose of the great majority of our tunnel entries, STARCS can provide quantitative measurement and visualization of the flow field (PIV) and pressure distribution on the model surface (PSP). Both PIV and PSP are relatively new methods that have taken advantage of the advancement of CCD cameras and light sources during the last years. The development of these methods in our wind tunnels have partly been performed in EC and GARTEUR programs, e g EUROPIV, PIVNet, EWA.
Particle Image Velocimetry, PIV, is an instantaneous recording of the velocity distribution in an illuminated plane of the flow and can be used for direct
comparison with CFD results. Pressure Sensitive Paint (PSP) contains luminophores such that a PSP coating on a wind tunnel model will reveal the surface pressure distribution when illuminated with a special light source.
Both PIV and PSP use specialized CCD-cameras and illumination sources. The probes are the seeding particles (PIV) or the paint (PSP), respectively. This makes them relatively non-intrusive. The result of the measurement is the distribution of a quantity (velocity or pressure) in a field. This is additional and detailed information that can now be obtained from a wind tunnel test..
Particle Image Velocimetry is a method to measure directly the velocity distribution in a plane. Equipment for performing PIV is available in both T1500 and LT1. Micro particles are generated using Laskin seeding generators or a smoke generator. Pulsed lasers are used for illumination.
The optical access in LT1 is excellent due to the large windows. In T1500 tailor made frames for mounting of the optical components inside the plenum chamber are manufactured according to the needs for optical access.
Track Record
1994 - 1996 GARTEUR AG19 ”Applicability of PIV to large scale wind tunnels”
1996 - 1998


1998 - 2002

PIVNet 1

2002 - 2005

PIVNet 2

2004 - 2009


Mach number visualization on re-entry vehicle in STARCS T1500.

Pressure Sensitive Paint is an alternative to evaluate pressure distributions over wind tunnel models without pressure taps and pressure transducers.
T1500 is equipped with tools for performing PSP. The test section can be illuminated with blue LEDs, mounted in removable wall sections. The software for evaluation of PSP images is in-house developed; Matlab has many useful commands and matrix operations suitable for image processing. The software includes routines for calibration and determination of marker location. Also transformation of the 2D PSP images to the 3D model geometry can be performed.
Track Record
1995 - 1998 GARTEUR AG21 ”first phase”
2000 - 2005

GARTEUR AG37 ”second phase”

2004 - 2009


PSP visualization of Saab J39 Gripen in STARCS T1500 wind tunnel.


STARCS adapts to the needs of the customer. Focus is on solving the problem rather than the task. Please, fill in the form below and we will contact you for further discussion to find a solution to your particular problem.



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