High-altitude ice crystals (HAICs) are causing one in-flight event or more per month for commercial aircraft. The effects include preventing air data probes (pitot pressure and total air temperature in particular) from functioning correctly and causing engines to roll back and shut down. The purpose of this study is to describe the process used by the National Research Council Canada (NRC) to develop and test a particle detection probe (PDP). The probe mounts on the fuselage of aircraft to sense and quantify the ice crystals in the environment.
The probe was demonstrated on the NRC Convair and Airbus A340 research aircraft as part of the European Union HAIC programme. The probe was ruggedised, adapted for easy installation in standard aircraft fittings and tested in a variety of conditions for longevity and endurance.
Efforts to achieve the safety requirements for flight on aircraft are discussed. The challenges, surprises and opportunities for testing on which the development group is capitalised are also presented.
It was demonstrated that the detectors gave signals proportional to the ice crystal content of clouds, and results demonstrating the functionality of the probe are presented.
This paper describes the multi-year process of developing the NRC PDP from a test cell sensor for detecting engine exhaust contaminants on an aircraft ice crystal detection probe. The work included over 20 flight tests on NRC aircraft and the Airbus HAIC test programme.
Davison, C., Fuleki, D., Chalmers, J. and Galeote, B. (2020), "NRC particle detection probe: test cell to flight", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 92 No. 1, pp. 8-14. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-11-2018-0286Download as .RIS
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Copyright © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the National Research Council of Canada (2019)