Innovative Concepts for Composite Leading Edge Self-Monitoring Anti/De-icing System
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
FBS, Inc. and The Pennsylvania State University Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence propose the development of a hybrid ultrasonic vibration/thermal self-monitoring ice protection system for composite rotor blades. Thermal-based ice protection systems have been applied to aircraft for years and the capability of this approach has been well-established. When turned on, these systems can cause overheating of composite materials resulting in damage to the blade. FBS and Penn State have recently shown that low-frequency ultrasonic vibrations can be used to remove ice layers over a large structural area using only a few actuators The main drawback of the ultrasonic approach to date is that the size of the actuators will require some redesigning of the blade in order to implement them. It is hypothesized here that the use of some heat, at low-levels so as to not damage the composite structure, in combination with the ultrasound, will allow the actuator size to be reduced to a "thin-film" which can be embedded inside the blade similarly to the way the thermal blankets are now. Further, this project will evaluate the possibility of using the ultrasonic actuators as sensors to detect icing conditions, monitor the blade for damage, and provide self-diagnostics.
Small Business Information at Submission:
3340 West College Ave. State College, PA 16801
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