Icing on Aircraft Wings: Seeing into the Storm

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ambience: Icing training video

How do you prevent an airplane from flying into dangerous icing conditions? Remote sensing technology might be the answer. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We’re listening to a training video for pilots. Tom Bond is chief of the Icing Branch at Glenn Research Center.

“Remote sensing technologies for ice detection are based upon using a suite of instruments that would measure what the cloud conditions are ahead of the airplane or around an air traffic area so that you could identify the hazard level associated with those icing conditions and pass that information both to the air traffic control and to the pilot. So that they have a notion of the threat associated with the icing conditions and can make a better decision about whether to avoid it or what the impact might be to fly through it. Our research in remote sensing technologies has been to develop, through a set of sensors, an ability to detect what the ice looks like in the environment overhead. Actually measure and assess the particles in the cloud or the droplets in the cloud and determine the extent of that, and then there’s a set of data processing that evaluates those conditions against a threat. In terms of use of remote sensing for icing conditions, the state of the technology is really quite immature. What we’ve done is adapted remote technologies, such as radars and modified them so that they could make measurements in icing conditions, which are very difficult to make.”

Please visit our website at pulseplanet.com and check out our new Science Diary blogs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation with additional support from NASA. I’m Jim Metzner.

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Icing on Aircraft Wings: Seeing into the Storm

Researchers hope to help pilots avoid icing conditions by helping them 'see' into the clouds.
Air Date:12/17/2008
Scientist:
Transcript:

music
ambience: Icing training video

How do you prevent an airplane from flying into dangerous icing conditions? Remote sensing technology might be the answer. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We’re listening to a training video for pilots. Tom Bond is chief of the Icing Branch at Glenn Research Center.

“Remote sensing technologies for ice detection are based upon using a suite of instruments that would measure what the cloud conditions are ahead of the airplane or around an air traffic area so that you could identify the hazard level associated with those icing conditions and pass that information both to the air traffic control and to the pilot. So that they have a notion of the threat associated with the icing conditions and can make a better decision about whether to avoid it or what the impact might be to fly through it. Our research in remote sensing technologies has been to develop, through a set of sensors, an ability to detect what the ice looks like in the environment overhead. Actually measure and assess the particles in the cloud or the droplets in the cloud and determine the extent of that, and then there’s a set of data processing that evaluates those conditions against a threat. In terms of use of remote sensing for icing conditions, the state of the technology is really quite immature. What we’ve done is adapted remote technologies, such as radars and modified them so that they could make measurements in icing conditions, which are very difficult to make.”

Please visit our website at pulseplanet.com and check out our new Science Diary blogs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation with additional support from NASA. I’m Jim Metzner.

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