Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-1931
2019-06-10

A Smart Icing Detection System for Any Location on the Outer Aircraft Surface 2019-01-1931

Given approximately one million small and light aircraft in operation worldwide, icing detection and icing quantification of in-flight icing are still an open research topic. Despite technical means are available to de-ice on ground, there is a lack of a suitable control system based on sensor data to de-ice while the aircraft is airborne. Most often, it is still task of the pilot to visually inspect the icing status of the airfoil and/or other critical parts of the aircraft such as engine air intakes, which distracts the flight crew from flying the aircraft especially in IMC conditions. Based on preliminary simulation and tests in 2014 in a collaborative research project lasting from 2015 until 2018, the technology of energy self-sustaining, wireless, self-adhesive smart sensors for industrial sensing in an aerodynamically critical environment (i.e. wind turbines) was further investigated to fulfil general aviation requirements. Prototype hardware setups have been designed and built for application on aircraft. In test flights carried out in Scotland in late 2017, the functionality of the system could be demonstrated. It could be shown that a wireless, energy self-sustaining detection system for early icing can be implemented based on currently available technologies and components. Additionally, it could be shown that detection sensitivity is sufficient to detect ice at very thin layers.

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