National aerospace research laboratories collaborating to reduce aviation icing risks
Building on the success of an icing research agreement signed in 2010, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (NASA-ARMD) have renewed their agreement to pursue engine icing research. On May 21, 2015,Dr. Ian Potter, NRC Vice-president of Engineering, and Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for Aeronautics at NASA signed a five-year agreement renewal that will see the two national aerospace laboratories continue their collaboration on research and technology development.
The renewed agreement outlines research areas of mutual interest and the potential sharing of expertise between the two organizations in a variety of critical areas related to icing, including engine ice crystals and testing practices for thermal ice-protection systems.
"NRC offers the unique competitive advantage of being able to draw from a wide spectrum of research disciplines to advance emerging technologies," said Dr. Potter. "Working with a multi-faceted organization like NASA will only accelerate this process, and lead to innovations that will make flying sustainable, safer and more affordable on a global level."
The initial agreement saw the realization of cutting-edge projects and important breakthroughs. Working with Science Engineering Associates (SEA), the National Research Council supported the High Ice Water Content/High Altitude Ice Crystal Flight Campaign, conducted by NASA and the Federal Aviation Association. NRC and SEA developed an isokinetic probe designed for accurate measurements of ice crystal content at high altitudes, high airspeeds and in high ice-water concentrations. The data collected from the flight campaign is being used by regulatory bodies to set standards for aircraft probe and engine tolerance of ice crystal ingestion and impact. For their contribution to this important aviation milestone, the campaign team was awarded NASA's prestigious agency Group Achievement Award.
"The combined efforts of our two agencies will help solve some of the most difficult and challenging weather-related issues facing the aviation community," said Dr. Shin.
This long-standing agreement on icing research is only part of the collaboration between the two laboratories. In 2014, NRC participated in NASA's Access II project, lending its CT-133 research jet to conduct a series of flight tests to study the effects of burning alternative fuels in jet engines on emissions and contrail formations. The two organizations have collaborated on a variety of projects within the broad scope of the aerospace sector for over 50 years. Today, both organizations are part of the International Forum for Aviation Research, the world´s only aviation research establishment network.
According to Dr. Shin, "partnerships have been an essential part of NASA aeronautics activities since the establishment of its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, in 1915, and are based on a clear recognition of the value that's added in sharing knowledge and unique capabilities with others."
Well-aligned with the goals of NRC, NASA-ARMD aims to improve the efficiency, safety, and environmental compatibility of air transportation systems, and to conduct research and develop tools that will enable aircraft and airspace solutions. The National Research Council, Canada's premier research and technology organization, develops and de-risks aerospace products and processes, while enabling the commercialization of leading-edge technologies through world-class research and strong international networks, as seen in this joint initiative.