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Experimental investigation of passive infrared ice detection for helicopter applicationsA technique is proposed to remotely detect rotor icing on helicopters. Using passive infrared (IR) thermometry it is possible to detect the warming caused by latent heat released as supercooled water freezes. During icing, the ice accretion region on the blade leading edge will be warmer than the uniced trailing edge resulting in a chordwise temperature profile characteristic of icing. Preliminary tests were conducted on a static model in the NASA Icing Research Tunnel for a variety of wet (glaze) and dry (rime) ice conditions. The characteristic chordwise temperature profiles were observed with an IR thermal video system and confirmed with thermocouple measurements. A prototype detector system was built consisting of a single point IR pyrometer, and experiments were run on a small scale rotor model. Again the characteristic chordwise temperature profiles were observed during icing, and the IR system was able to remotely detect icing. Based on the static and subscale rotor tests the passive IR technique is promising for rotor ice detection.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Dershowitz, Adam
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Hansman, R. John, Jr.
(MIT Cambridge, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1991
Subject Category
Air Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 91-0667
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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