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Analysis of Droplet Size during the Ice Accumulation Phase Of Flight TestingThere are numerous hazards associated with air travel. One of the most serious dangers to the pilot and passengers safety is the result of flying into conditions which are conducive to the formation of ice on the surface of an aircraft. Being a pilot myself I am very aware of the dangers that Icing can pose and the effects it can have on an airplane. A couple of the missions of the Icing branch is to make flying safer with more research to increase our knowledge of how ice effects the aerodynamics of an airfoil, and to increase are knowledge of the weather for better forecasting. The Icing Branch uses three different tools to determine the aerodynamic affects that icing has on a wing. The Icing research tunnel is an efficient way to test various airfoils in a controlled setting. To make sure the data received from the wind tunnel is accurate the Icing branch conducts real flight tests with the DHC-6 Twin Otter. This makes sure that the methods used in the wind tunnel accurately model what happens on the actual aircraft. These two tools are also compared to the LEWICE code which is a program that models the ice shape that would be formed on an airfoil in the particular weather conditions that are input by the user. One benefit of LEWICE is that it is a lot cheaper to run than the wind tunnel or flight tests which make it a nice tool for engineers designing aircraft that don t have the money to spend on icing research. Using all three of these tools is a way to cross check the data received from one and check it against the other two. industries, but it is also looked at by weather analysts who are trying to improve forecasting methods. The best way to avoid the troubles of icing encounters is to not go into it in the first place. By looking over the flight data the analyst can determine which conditions will most likely lead to an icing encounter and then this information will aid forecasters when briefing the pilots on the weather conditions. am looking at the weather data from certain flights and analyzing the type of precipitation that the plane is flying through. During flight tests there is a probe on the bottom of the aircraft that gathers information on the size and shape of the particles that it is flying through. The data can then be viewed on a computer. After grouping the weather into certain groups we can then pick certain groups which we think should be analyzed farther. The goal is to remove all the ice particles because they do not contribute to the icing on an aircraft. We use a 2D analyzer which measures the droplet size and categorizes the drops into bins of certain sizes. We can then look at what the characteristics of the weather that we were flying through such as the temperature and dew point and compare this with the size of the drops that the 2D analyzer measured. We can then look at what type and shape of ice that formed on the wing during this time period. Having this data will help us to reproduce these conditions using LEWICE and the wind tunnel. Having consistency among the tests will make things more accurate. With respect to weather forecasting we will be able to learn which conditions can lead to icing. Better accuracy in weather reporting will lead to fewer run-ins with icing which will also lead to fewer accidents.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Miller, Eric James
(Cincinnati Univ. OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium II
Subject Category
Air Transportation And Safety
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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