The application of nanosecond pulse-driven surface dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) actuators as control devices on airfoils and turbomachinery blades in transonic flow is investigated experimentally. Images acquired with a short-exposure ICCD camera document the spatial-temporal discharge development in both absence and presence of flow, as a means of examining the effect of the ow on the actuator. In order to visualize the interaction of the DBD actuator with the ow, Schlieren images were acquired. Furthermore, a power supply capable of generating the required voltage pulses was built and characterized. The impact of the pulse transition time on the discharge development was also investigated.