Performance Automotive Applications of Pressure-Sensitive Paint in the Langley Full Scale Tunnel 2002-01-3291
Recently, there has been a strong emphasis on aerodynamic and aeroacoustic wind tunnel testing of automobiles. While significant level resources have been spent on investigating aerodynamics, the methodology has not changed appreciably since the beginning of aerodynamics as a science. Over the past decade, a number of global flow diagnostic techniques have been developed that drastically increase the quality and quantity of data from wind tunnel testing. One of these technologies is the use of pressure sensitive luminescent coatings, known as pressure-sensitive paint, a method which has matured considerably since its inception and is now used extensively in aerospace applications with good results. The goal of this research is to implement this technology in the full scale testing of high performance automotive vehicles. This paper discusses the details of a preliminary test, such as technique, paint formulation, camera and lighting hardware, and data reduction and analysis. The test article was an actual high performance vehicle, a “stock car”, and the test facility was the Langley Full Scale Tunnel.