Development of an ultrasonic pulse-echo (UPE) technique for aircraft icing studies
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Aircraft operating in some cold weather conditions face the risk of icing. Icing poses a threat to flight safety and its management is expensive. Removing light frost on a clear day from a medium-size business jet can cost $300, heavy wet snow removal can cost $3,000 and removal of accumulated frozen/freezing rain can cost close to $10,000. Understanding conditions that lead to severe icing events is important and challenging. When an aircraft or rotorcraft flies in a cold climate, some of the super cooled droplets impinging on exposed aircraft surfaces may flow along the surface prior to freezing and give various forms and shapes of ice. The runback behavior of a water film on an aircraft affects the morphology of ice accretion and the rate of formation. In this study, we report the recent progress to develop an Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo (UPE) technique to provide real-time thickness distribution measurements of surface water flows driven by boundary layer airflows for aircraft icing studies. A series of initial experimental investigations are conducted in an ice wind tunnel employing an array of ultrasonic transducers placed underneath the surface of a flat plate. The water runback behavior on the plate is evaluated by measuring the thickness profile variation of the water film along the surface by using the UPE technique under various wind speed and flow rate conditions.
This proceeding may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This proceeding appeared in Liu, Yang, Wen-Li Chen, Leonard J. Bond, and Hui Hu. "Development of an ultrasonic pulse-echo (UPE) technique for aircraft icing studies." AIP Conference Proceedings 1581, no. 1 (2014): 1757-1764. DOI: 10.1063/1.4865036. Posted with permission.