National Research Council of Canada develops innovative ice-sensing technology to detect dangerous in-flight icing conditions

- Farnborough, United Kingdom 

July 11, 2016 — Farnborough, United Kingdom

Particle detection probe installed on the NRC Convair 580

With the safety of the millions of passengers flying around the world each day in mind, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has developed two leading-edge aviation icing detection technologies that have passed all tests and are ready to be licensed to industry. Both technologies fill an industry-wide safety gap around high altitude ice crystal formation and the more common super cooled liquid water icing. They provide pilots with critical information about icing conditions in which they may be operating so that they can make informed navigational decisions.

"We are proud of the research investment we have made in these promising innovations," said Jerzy Komorowski, General Manager of Aerospace at NRC. "They offer significant benefits for travelers, Canadian aerospace industry and sensor manufacturers. We are looking for a partnership to commercialize these technologies."

Ultrasound Ice Accretion Sensor

The Particle Detection Probe is a small, lightweight device mounted to the aircraft fuselage or engine surfaces that has no effect on fuel consumption or aerodynamics. The probe detects particles in the atmosphere around the aircraft by measuring changes in the electrical characteristics when flying in an ice crystal environment.

The Ultrasound Ice Accretion Sensor, which detects ice accumulation inside an engine or on an airframe, is a very small, lightweight non-intrusive device that has low power requirements. It is mounted to the non-exposed surfaces of an engine or aircraft components to monitor the environment surrounding the aircraft, eliminating the risk of damage.

The Particle Detection Probe and the Ultrasound Ice Accretion Sensor projects are supported through NRC's Reducing Aviation Icing Risk program.

For more information about the National Research Council of Canada, its aerospace programs, capabilities and facilities, visit our Aerospace research and development expertise website.

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