Smart icing systems for aircraft icing safety

Michael B. Bragg, Tamer Basar, William R. Perkins, Michael S. Selig, Petros G Voulgaris, James W. Melody, Nadine B. Sarter

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Ice accretion affects the performance and control of an aircraft and in extreme situations can lead to incidents and accidents. However, changes in performance and control are difficult to sense. As a result, the icing sensors currently in use sense primarily ice accretion, not the effect of the ice. No processed aircraft performance degradation information is available to the pilot. In this paper, the Smart Icing System research program is reviewed and progress towards its development reported. Such a system would sense ice accretion through traditional icing sensors and use modern system identification methods to estimate aircraft performance and control changes. This information would be used to automatically operate ice protection systems, provide aircraft envelope protection and, if icing was severe, adapt the flight controls. All of this would be properly communicated to and coordinated with the flight crew. In addition to describing the basic concept, this paper reviews the research conducted to date in three critical areas; aerodynamics and flight mechanics, aircraft control and identification, and human factors. In addition, the flight simulation development is reviewed, as well as the Twin Otter flight test program that is being conducted in cooperation with NASA Glenn Research Center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2002
Event40th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2002 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 14 2002Jan 17 2002


Other40th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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