NASA Software Innovation estimates Aircraft Ice Accumulation

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Aircraft design and building one is one of the most complex work that engineers and SMEs in the space have accomplished. That too design of not one or two types of aircrafts, but a wide range mainly for commercial, defense, and freight needs.

Irrespective, aircrafts face diverse atmospheric conditions and a varied temperature range that could be as low as subzero temperatures. This, therefore requires a robust design to endure high atmospheric fluctuations, and continue to fly safely and efficiently. A design that can withstand nature’s atrocities that are difficult to predict.

For reasons that are palpable, the design and building of aircraft needs to be extremely methodical. Aircraft safety holds a very high value for both human life and economic losses. To serve this, trial and error methods carried out in controlled environments are not failsafe.

The approach has no timeframe. Iterations of trial and error for design and building an aircraft is a long exercise that has high cost implications.

Serving all aspects, if engineers could predict the aircraft’s performance in advance would be the best bet. This would help build an effective model in the first time.

NASA’s Innovation a direction for estimation of Aircraft Atmospheric Uncertainties

An initiative of NASA’S Glen Research Center does exactly this. It seeks to boost engineers’ prediction power for their understanding of ice accumulation. The amount of ice that will accumulate on the aircraft’s surface during flight.

LEWICE3D – a 3D simulation serves to provide a solution to this issue to some extent. The same program that earned Glenn Research Center an R&D 100 Award last year. The program is comprehensive it takes into account several factors for measuring of freezing water droplets.

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