Pressure distribution in the bearing clearance of aerostatic bearings has received great attention since it has fundamental influence on the performance of the bearing. Thus, it is important to seek for accurate and global pressure distribution measurements. Pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) therefore qualifies as a promising measuring technique. It is of non-invasive nature, and hence eliminates many of the otherwise unavoidable drawbacks of conventional pressure taps. This paper introduces a conceptual test configuration aiming for employing PSP as measuring technique in narrow clearances. It is a pilot study including hardware modifications as well as considerations of an appropriate choice of paint, imaging equipment and calibration method. The effect of the coat surface quality is discussed, and a scaling methodology is proposed to transfer the high pressure conditions from machine to test rig conditions, so that PSP measurements are possible.

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