Icing Detection on Leading Edge of Aircraft Wings
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In recent years, the use of UAVs has increased significantly, both for commercial andprivate use. UAVs are particularly favorable in situations where other alternatives are impractical, or poses a threat to human lives, e.g. in search and rescue missions, or whenoperating in polar regions. The use of UAVs in harsh conditions such as a cold and humidenvironment, poses a major risk as ice can form on the aircraft surface. Ice accretion cancause severe damage as it may result in reduced controllability, which in worst case cancause the aircraft to crash. The wings are the parts of the UAV that is most vulnerable toice accretion, as they constitute a large surface towards the surroundings. This motivatesfor an efficient and reliable ice detection application, to be used in de-icing systems. This master thesis explores the possibilities of detecting ice formation, by the use oftemperature sensors and heating elements applied to the wings. The problem has beenaddressed in two ways: The first method comprises of estimating the theoretical heat fluxon the surface, with the intention of being able to separate between a free surface, and asurface covered with ice. The second method uses a least squares estimation model. Byusing temperature measurements from experiments in an icing tunnel, the model estimatesan expression for both a free surface as well as a surface covered with ice. The results from the use of least squares has given valuable information. Estimationsshow that it is possible to detect icing based on temperature measurements, as temperaturefluctuations decrease when ice is present on the wings. To create a reliable and accuratedetection algorithm however, the model still needs to gather more measurements. Acontinuation of this thesis should therefore primarily focus on that.