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Progress Towards the Remote Sensing of Aircraft Icing HazardsNASA has teamed with the FAA, DoD, industry, and academia for research into the remote detection and measurement of atmospheric conditions leading to aircraft icing hazards. The ultimate goal of this effort is to provide pilots, controllers, and dispatchers sufficient information to allow aircraft to avoid or minimize their exposure to the hazards of in-flight icing. Since the hazard of in-flight icing is the outcome of aircraft flight through clouds containing supercooled liquid water and strongly influenced by the aircraft s speed and configuration and by the length of exposure, the hazard cannot be directly detected, but must be inferred based upon the measurement of conducive atmospheric conditions. Therefore, icing hazard detection is accomplished through the detection and measurement of liquid water in regions of measured sub-freezing air temperatures. The icing environment is currently remotely measured from the ground with a system fusing radar, lidar, and multifrequency microwave radiometer sensors. Based upon expected ice accretion severity for the measured environment, a resultant aircraft hazard is then calculated. Because of the power, size, weight, and view angle constraints of airborne platforms, the current ground-based solution is not applicable for flight. Two current airborne concepts are based upon the use of either multifrequency radiometers or multifrequency radar. Both ground-based and airborne solutions are required for the future since groundbased systems can provide hazard detection for all aircraft in airport terminal regions while airborne systems will be needed to provide equipped aircraft with flight path coverage between terminal regions.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Reehorst, Andrew (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Brinker, David (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Politovich, Marcia (National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Serke, David (National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Ryerson, Charles (Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab. Hanover, NH, United States)
Pazmany, Andrew (ProSensing, Inc. Amherst, MA, United States)
Solheim, Fredrick (Radiometrics, Inc. Boulder, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 2009
Subject Category
Air Transportation and Safety
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Optics and Photonics(San Diego, CA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 609866.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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