High-Temperature Shear Stress Instrumentation

DirectShear-Optical™ sensors are robust, high-bandwidth shear stress sensors designed from the ground up for harsh environments, including high-temperature applications.  The sensors employ  purely optical transduction,  a silicon/Pyrex micromachined floating element, and a remote optical fiber readout to enable time-resolved one-dimensional, direct shear stress measurements at high temperatures.  

Like the original DirectShear line of sensors, IC2's DirectShear-Optical sensors are capable of both mean and dynamic measurements of wall shear stress over a wide dynamic range and are offered in a range of sensor models to suit different applications.

The optical sensors are now commercially available and are ideal for precision skin friction measurements in high-speed, high-temperature test facilities. Click here to see how NASA is utilizing these sensors.


Control Unit Options:

Add the following to your quote to power, control, and interface with your sensor.


  • Optical micromachined floating element sensor for time-resolved, one-dimensional, direct shear stress measurements in harsh environments
  • Optical gratings for direct transduction of shear stress with remote optical fiber readout
  • Silicon/Pyrex sensor structure for high-temperature environments (up to 400°C continuous)
  • Optimized Sensor Control Unit (SCU) for high dynamic range and bandwidth
  • Suite of sensor models for different applications


  • Instrumentation-grade skin friction sensing in high temperatures and harsh environments
  • Aerodynamic drag research
  • Detection of flow separation
  • High-speed wind tunnel testing


  • Direct measurement of shear stress
  • Harsh environment capable
  • Non-intrusive - minimal flow disturbance
  • High resolution, dynamic range and bandwidth
  • Immune to EMI

Sensor Head Housing Details

  • Non-intrusive — backside contacts for minimal flow disturbance
  • Standard stainless steel cylindrical housings available with or without shoulder and key alignment and detachable cable
  • Multiple sensor head form factors, materials and finishes available to meet installation requirements.
  • Custom housings/materials available
  • Suite of 6 sensor models available for different applications (see Specifications table)

What is the typical application for DirectShear Sensors?

DirectShear Sensors are typically used in wind tunnel testing applications. 

What are the operating temperature ranges for DirectShear-Optical sensors?

Optical models are designed for more extreme environments and can withstand temperatures from 0-400°C.