Aircraft icing is a critical aviation safety issue. Flying in icing conditions can result in reduced aerodynamic lift, increased drag, and reduced aircraft control. Weight gain from ice accumulation on the airframe can become a tremendous safety challenge for smaller aircraft. In addition to the impacts on the airframe, high ice density can extinguish engines (flame-outs), and ice accumulation can cause the failure of Pitot static air data sensors, thereby eliminating information required for safe flight.
Although in-flight icing hazards to aircraft may be minimized by aircraft protection systems and procedures - such as deicing heaters and boots and weather forecasting - icing detection, severity assessment and avoidance remain difficult challenges.
Warning of Hazardous Icing Conditions
Ophir Corporation has developed and demonstrated an aerosol lidar for assessing both conventional and Appendix O icing flight hazard conditions. A variety of icing cloud conditions were evaluated using Ophir’s icing lidar at the NASA Glenn Icing Research Tunnel.
Ophir’s icing lidar offers an innovative solution to in-flight aircraft icing hazards in a low cost, lightweight and inexpensive sensor with the capability to measure and report icing conditions and severity in real-time. Icing conditions include Supercooled Large Droplets (SLD), freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and freezing mist, for example. These measurements directly address the need for characterizing water aerosols and aircraft icing conditions under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 25 Appendix C and the proposed Appendix O conditions.