Global Aerospace Centre of Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER)

The Global Aerospace Centre of Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) is one of the largest gas turbine engine icing test facilities in the world, capable of testing engines up to 150,000 pounds (670 kN) of thrust. GLACIER is part of a public-private partnership, owned and operated jointly by Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce, as well as the NRC’s Aerospace Research Centre. The facility uses natural ambient temperature conditions to provide calibrated icing conditions between October and May. GLACIER is recognized by airworthiness authorities around the world for its capabilities in gas turbine engine icing certification and testing.

Our capabilities

The NRC has designed and built, and presently maintains and operates the spray mast wind tunnel system at GLACIER that sprays supercooled water mist into test engines. This acts as an icing cloud simulation system that recreates a variety of conditions that are known to cause in-flight engine icing, a serious safety challenge.

During the icing season, GLACIER is capable of delivering FAA Appendix C supercooled liquid icing cloud conditions. This covers the 15 to 40 micrometre droplet size range, over a liquid water concentration range of 0.3 to 2.0 grams per cubic metre for engine airflows from 100 to 3500 pounds per second (50 to 1600 kilograms per second). Complete engine and icing spray system performance is measured in real time and high-speed video is available to document ice accretion on static and rotating parts.

In addition to services provided at GLACIER, the NRC also provides icing certification capabilities for smaller engines at its test facilities in Ottawa, ON.

We provide testing and consultative services for:

  • engine icing testing and certification
  • icing test facility development and calibration
  • ice crystal icing, at altitude and sea-level conditions
  • icing sensor development
  • various ingestion testing (including for water, ice slab, bird carcass, sand and volcanic ash
  • various engine performance and operability testing


  • Thompson, Manitoba

Contact us

Business Development Team
Aerospace Research Centre