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SBIR/STTR

A Structurally-Integrated Ice Detection and De-Icing System for Unmanned Air Vehicles, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

A Structurally-Integrated Ice Detection and De-Icing System for Unmanned Air Vehicles, Phase I
Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) are becoming more prevalent for Suborbital Scientific Earth Exploration, which often involves high altitude, long endurance flight missions. Extreme environmental conditions, especially involving sub-freezing temperatures (e.g. polar missions in support of the U.S. Global Change Research Program), can lead to the accretion of ice on control surfaces and jeopardize both the vehicle health and mission success. MesoScribe proposes the development of a structurally integrated ice detection and minimization system for implementation onto UAV platforms. The system, encompassing multifunctional detection and de-icing modules as well as power distribution arrays, will be designed and fabricated using Direct Write technology. Specifications will be identified based on the chosen system architecture for integrated switching networks, which will be required to toggle between detection and de-icing modes for power management. Prototype modules will be feasibility tested during Phase I to demonstrate concept efficacy and provide direction for development of the distributed system architecture. The proposed technology offers a variety of benefits for integration onto UAVs, including multifunctional icing detection/minimization capabilities, low-profile non-intrusive conductor networks, minimal power consumption, and ruggedized implementation. More »

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