formation of ice on aircraft is a major hazard to aviation.
Even the most modern and advanced jetliners can succumb
to the effects of ice on the aircraft's flying qualities.
Accidents still happen in which aircraft crash due to
unnoticed ice accumulation. Vigilance by the crew is
still the best defence against ice.
this end, recent research has focused on a way to alert
the crew when ice forms on the flying surfaces of the
aircraft. A simple temperature sensor is insufficient.
What is required is a sensor that will alert the crew
to the actual presence of ice itself - not sub-zero
temperatures or liquid water.
a strip of film which changes colour or other optical
properties in the presence of ice could be fixed to
the upper wing and other flying surfaces of an aircraft
where it is clearly visible to the pilot, a visual check
could ascertain if it was safe to take off or whether
de-icing was required. It would also alert pilots to
the accretion of ice during flight.
passive device has the advantage of not requiring a
separate power supply. Aircraft are already festooned
with sensors so a passive device would reduce complexity,
simplify installation and lower maintenance costs.
has designed an electret polymer film incorporating
an electroactive chromophore, which will act autonomously
without external power to indicate the formation of
ice by reversibly changing both its colour and the polarisation
of incident light.
you are interested in collaborative development with
a view to potential licensing, entering a test and development
agreement or acquiring an intellectual property position,
please contact Meridian International Research.