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Proceedings Paper

Supercooled large drop detection with NASA's Icing Remote Sensing System
Author(s): David J. Serke; Andrew L. Reehorst; Marcia K. Politovich
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Paper Abstract

In-flight icing occurs when aircraft impact supercooled liquid drops. The supercooled liquid freezes on contact and the accreted ice changes a plane's aerodynamic characteristics, which can lead to dangerous loss of control. NASA's Icing Remote Sensing System consists of a multi-channel radiometer, a laser ceilometer and a vertically-pointing Kaband radar, whos fields are merged with internal software logic to arrive at a hazard classification for in-flight icing. The radiometer is used to derive atmospheric temperature soundings and integrated liquid water and the ceilometer and radar are used to define cloud boundaries. The integrated liquid is then distributed within the determined cloud boundaries and layers to arrive at liquid water content profiles, which if present below freezing are categorized as icing hazards. This work outlines how the derived liquid water content and measured Ka-band reflectivity factor profiles can be used to derive a vertical profile of radar-estimated particle size. This is only possible because NASA's system arrives at independent and non-correlated measures of liquid water and reflectivity factor for a given range volume. The size of the drops significantly effect the drop collection efficiency and the location that icing accretion occurs on the craft's superstructure and thus how a vehicle's performance is altered. Large drops, generally defined as over 50 μm in diameter, tend to accrete behind the normal ice protected areas of the leading edge of the wing and other control surfaces. The NASA Icing Remote Sensing System was operated near Montreal, Canada for the Alliance Icing Research Study II in 2003 and near Cleveland, Ohio from 2006 onward. In this study, we present case studies to show how NASA's Icing Remote Sensing System can detect and differentiate between no icing, small drop and large drop in-flight icing hazards to aircraft. This new product provides crucial realtime hazard detection capabilities which improve avaiation safety in the near-airport environment with cost-effective, existing instrumentation technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7827, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XV, 782705 (12 October 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.863176
Show Author Affiliations
David J. Serke, National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research (United States)
Andrew L. Reehorst, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Marcia K. Politovich, National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7827:
Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XV
Richard H. Picard; Klaus Schäfer; Adolfo Comeron; Michiel van Weele, Editor(s)

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