Development of Advanced Flow Diagnostic Techniques to Characterize Aircraft Icing Phenomena

Conference paper
Part of the Notes on Numerical Fluid Mechanics and Multidisciplinary Design book series (NNFM, volume 143)


Aircraft icing phenomena involve in complicated interactions among multiphase flows (i.e., gaseous airflow, super-cooled liquid water droplets/surface water film flows, and ice accreting solid surface) coupled with unsteady heat transfer (i.e., the release of the latent heat of fusion) and dynamic phase changing (i.e., solidification) processes. In the present study, the research progress made in our recent efforts to develop advanced flow diagnostic techniques to characterize the complex multiphase flows pertinent to aircraft icing phenomena is presented. A novel lifetime-based molecular tagging thermometry (MTT) is introduced to achieve simultaneous measurements of droplet size (in terms of volume, height, contact area and the contact angle of the droplet) and temporally-and-spatially-resolved temperature distributions within micro-sized, icing water droplets to quantify the unsteady heat transfer and phase changing process pertinent to the ice formation and accretion processes as water droplets impinge onto frozen cold aircraft wings. A novel structure-light-based digital image projection (DIP) technique is also introduced to achieve quantitative measurements of the droplet/film thickness distributions to quantify the dynamic surface water runback process pertinent to glaze ice accretion process over an airfoil/wing surface. The quantitative measurements are very helpful to elucidate the underlying physics pertinent aircraft icing phenomena as well as to develop more effective and robust anti-/de-icing strategies for aircraft icing mitigation.


Molecular tagging thermometry Digital image projection Aircraft icing physics Droplet impinging dynamics 



The research is partially supported by National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) with the Grant No. NNX16AN21A. The support of the National Science Foundation (NSF) under award numbers of CMMI-1824840 and CBET-1435590 is also gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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