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Evaluation of Droplet Splashing Algorithm in LEWICE 3.0The Icing Branch at NASA Glenn Research has developed a computer program to simulate ice formation on the leading edge of an aircraft wing during flight through cold, moist air. As part of the branch's current research, members have developed software known as LEWICE. This program is capable of predicting the formation of ice under designated weather conditions. The success of LEWICE is an asset to airplane manufacturers, ice protection system manufacturers, and the airline industry. Simulations of ice formation conducted in the tunnel and in flight is costly and time consuming. However, the danger of in-flight icing continues to be a concern for both commercial and military pilots. The LEWICE software is a step towards inexpensive and time efficient prediction of ice collection. In the most recent version of the program, LEWICE contains an algorithm for droplet splashing. Droplet splashing is a natural occurrence that causes accumulation of ice on aircraft surfaces. At impingement water droplets lose a portion of their mass to splashing. With part of each droplet joining the airflow and failing to freeze, early versions of LEWICE without the splashing algorithm over-predicted the collection of ice on the leading edge. The objective of my project was to determine whether the revised version of LEWICE accurately reflected the ice collection data obtained from the Icing Research Tunnel (IRT). The experimental data from the IRT was collected by Mark Potapczuk in January, March and July of 2001 and April and December of 2002. Experimental data points were the result of ice tracings conducted shortly after testing in the tunnel. Run sheets, which included a record of velocity, temperature, liquid water content and droplet diameter, served as the input of the LEWICE computer program. Parameters identical to the tunnel conditions were used to run LEWICE 2.0 and LEWICE 3.0. The results from IRT and versions of LEWICE were compared graphically. After entering the raw experimental data and computer output into a spread sheet, I mapped each ice formation onto a clean airfoil. The LEWICE output provided the data points to graphically depict ice formations developed by the program. weather conditions of runs conducted in January 2001, it was evident that the splashing algorithm of LEWICE 3.0 predicts ice formations more accurately than LEWICE 2.0. Especially at conditions with droplet size between 80 and 160 microns, the splashing algorithm of the new LEWICE version compensated for the loss of droplet mass as a result of splashing. In contrast, LEWICE 2.0 consistently over-predicted the mass of the ice in conditions with droplet size exceeding 80 microns. This evidence confirms that changes made to algorithms of LEWICE 3.0 have increased the accuracy of predicting ice collection.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Homenko, Hilary N.
(Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium I
Subject Category
Computer Programming And Software
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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