SP4 High IWC Detection and Awareness Technology – Final progress is available!
Most of SP4 objectives set for the fourth year of the project have been achieved. In particular, first results show good correlation between signal’s amplitude and total water contents, but flight data are still under study. Also, besides the flight tests, wind tunnel tests are still on way for the technologies that could not be installed onboard A340 research aircraft. In what follows, the significant results of each WP of SP4 are presented.
The SP 4 team participated in AERODAYS in October 2015 with a poster and to the HAIC final forum in September 2016 with a presentation and a poster. They organised the TRL reviews for awareness and detector technologies to assess the improvement all along the project. They took part of project level meetings.
- Participation to EUROCAE WG-95 meetings: in 2016, the first meeting took place at GKN office in February, the second in Melbourne Florida in April, the third at Zodiac in June (at Boeing for sub WG95 on radars) and the last one at Airbus Toulouse in October. Main discussions ended.
- Update of the Long Range Awareness specification (D42.3) and of the Icing condition and Ice detector specification (D42.4) taking into account the WG95 outcomes and the feedback from the 2016 HAIC flight campaign.
- Launch of the EUROCAE WG95 subgroup for Ice Crystal Awareness main with the support of RTCA SC-230 (Weather Radar standardization committee). Its task was to perform a feasibility study for potential standardization of this function by defining the OEMs needs, showing the maturity of the concept, and recommend future activities.
The final report will be submitted in January 2017 (it is currently in the final loop for closure). The conclusion of the group is that the use of the sole reflectivity may allow inferring but not at the level of performances (range, threshold…) requested by the A/C manufacturer. However the use of additional data (as topology, temperature…) could help defining an Ice Crystals Long Range Awareness function. Further activities (probably followed on RTCA side) have been judged necessary for such function as writing a MAPS or gathering of information substantiating the moderate threshold.
- WXR ice crystals function (HONEYWELL RDR-4000) flight tested on the A340 MSN1 Airbus flight test aircraft in January 2016.
- Encouraging results for detection of severe IWC (3g/m3) up to 80 nm during the campaign. Some refinements have been implemented after the campaign to take into account pilots’ feedback.
- Performances computed with latest algorithm and data gathered during all the campaigns gave confidence to assess a conclusive TRL6 for the Radar Ice Crystal Awareness technology. However, further activities should be performed before launching product development (e.g. consolidation of the moderate threshold, further data analysis for severe).
- High Altitude Ice Crystals prediction with 3D X-band weather radar seems to be possible taking into account more Radar data that only measured reflectivity.
- After the performance assessment in Ice Wind Tunnel at the end of year 3 of the project, the prototypes developed for the campaign on the A340 were tested to assess their robustness in hard conditions (in terms of temperature, TWC, speed).
- Detector installation on A340 MSN1 Airbus flight test aircraft in Tarbes. All prototypes were delivered on time.
- Three technologies were tested on flight during HAIC A340 MSN1 field campaign out of Darwin (continental convection) and La Reunion Island (oceanic convection) in January 2016. All three demonstrated their robustness during flights in various conditions and no major issue was faced. The recorded data were compared to research instrumentation installed on the aircraft. The last data analysis gave good correlations between the results from aircraft instrumentation and the detectors measurements measurements (Figure 1 and Figure 2). All technologies demonstrated their capability to detect ice crystals conditions considering TWC detection threshold and associated response time. More evidences are expected in order to validate IDS discrimination and characterization capabilities, however, we lack reliable data concerning water phase (work in progress at CNRS based on 2D-S / FCDP data).
- A huge amount of work was performed by WP44 partners to reach this level. For ice crystals at least, these result give good confidence on the technologies. Now all technologies reach a good level of performance assessment and it is time for them to go through a new and important step: environment robustness and industrialization processes, which is another challenge, which is out of the scope of HAIC.