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Lightweight Active Anti-Icing/De-Icing for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-M-5158
Agency Tracking Number: F121-114-0430
Amount: $149,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-114
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2012
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2012-05-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
3252 Holiday Court Suite 115
La Jolla, CA -
United States
DUNS: 969813278
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Benjamin Garcia
 Senior Staff Scientist
 (858) 638-0315
Business Contact
 David Schultz
Title: Vice President
Phone: (858) 638-0315
Research Institution

ABSTRACT: This Small Business Innovative Research Phase I project will enable the development of an active anti-ice system for use on remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). Seashell proposes to design, fabricate, and characterize an anti-ice system based on an electrothermal system that will be light weight, low power, and able to be retrofitted to existing RPA. Seashell will meet the weight, power, and retrofitting criteria by utilizing a high performance heating element and Seashell"s proprietary icephobic coating. The enhanced heating element will provide superior thermal conductivity and mechanical properties while lowering the overall film weight when compared to existing technology. The icephobic coating will make the system more robust to environmental icing conditions and lower the power consumption by making the removal of ice and water from the surface more efficient. The system will be tested over a wide range of icing conditions to ensure anti-icing performance. BENEFIT: As the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) continues to grow the need for an anti icing system to extend the environmental conditions in which they operate is becoming increasingly important. The lack of anti-icing equipment on RPAs limits the use of these aircraft to when specific environmental conditions are met that minimize icing risk. These environmental launch specifications cause unwanted delays and expense due to grounded aircraft and may have severe consequences for critical missions. Designing an anti-ice system that can be retrofitted to an existing RPA will eliminate environmental launch requirements and provide both economic and productivity improvements to the military and commercial RPA users. Outside of military use, the anti-ice system will be applicable for use on small planes. Most small planes in use today do not have an anti-ice system installed limiting their use to environmental conditions where icing is not a concern. Seashell"s proposed anti-ice system will be superior to other anti-ice systems on the market by providing a solution that is more robust to icing, lower weight, more environmentally friendly (no glycol fluids), and without extensive modification for retrofitting to the aircraft. The proposed anti-ice system will also be applicable for other non-aerospace applications (e.g. wind turbines, communication towers, radomes, etc.)

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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