# Stagnation pressure

In fluid dynamics, stagnation pressure (or pitot pressure) is the static pressure at a stagnation point in a fluid flow.[1] At a stagnation point the fluid velocity is zero and all kinetic energy has been converted into pressure energy (isentropically). Stagnation pressure is equal to the sum of the free-stream dynamic pressure and free-stream static pressure.[2]

Stagnation pressure is sometimes referred to as pitot pressure because it is measured using a pitot tube.

## Magnitude

The magnitude of stagnation pressure can be derived from a simplified form of Bernoulli Equation.[3][1] For incompressible flow,

$P_\text{stagnation}=\tfrac{1}{2} \rho v^2 + P_\text{static}$

where:

$P_\text{stagnation}$ is the stagnation pressure
$\rho\;$ is the fluid density
$v$ is the velocity of fluid
$P_\text{static}$ is the static pressure at any point.

At a stagnation point, the velocity of the fluid is zero. If the gravity head of the fluid at a particular point in a fluid flow is zero, then the stagnation pressure at that particular point is equal to total pressure.[1] However, in general total pressure differs from stagnation pressure in that total pressure equals the sum of stagnation pressure and gravity head.

$P_\text{total}=0 + P_\text{stagnation}\;$

In compressible flow the stagnation pressure is equal to static pressure only if the fluid entering the stagnation point is brought to rest isentropically.[4] For many purposes in compressible flow, the stagnation enthalpy or stagnation temperature plays a role similar to the stagnation pressure in incompressible flow.

## Compressible flow

Stagnation pressure is the static pressure a fluid retains when brought to rest isentropically from Mach number M.[5]

$\frac{p_t}{p} = \left(1 + \frac{\gamma -1}{2} M^2\right)^{\frac{\gamma}{\gamma-1}}\,$

or, assuming an isentropic process, the stagnation pressure can be calculated from the ratio of stagnation temperature to static temperature:

$\frac{p_t}{p} = \left(\frac{T_t}{T}\right)^{\frac{\gamma}{\gamma-1}}\,$

where:

$p_t$ is the stagnation pressure
$p$ is the static pressure
$T_t$ is the stagnation temperature
$T$ is the static temperature
$\gamma$ ratio of specific heats

The above derivation holds only for the case when the fluid is assumed to be calorically perfect. For such fluids, specific heats and $\gamma$ are assumed to be constant and invariant with temperature (a thermally perfect fluid).