Low-Power Aircraft Deicing System

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
34 Lexington Avenue Array
Ewing, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Two novel approaches for providing de-icing of aerodynamic surfaces are proposed for research and development. The first represents a ?snap through? actuation mechanism that can abruptly and reversibly alter the shape of aerodynamic surfaces in-flight to discrete self-locking positions. The snap-through system is ideally suited for deicing by providing mechanical debonding and removal of accreted ice with minimal weight and power requirements. The second mechanism incorporates interleaved sliding surfaces that provide suitable surface strains for debonding accreted ice on airfoils. Both systems incorporate Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) materials as their prime movers. SMA-based systems are more durable than pneumatic systems and provide higher force and strain output per unit volume than other smart material based actuators. The proposed methods offer up to an order of magnitude reduction in required power over other impulsive electromechanical technologies due to the modest currents required for SMA wire heating. In Phase I, dynamic models of each of the devices will be developed and demonstration models constructed and tested to establish effectiveness for representative deicing situations. Construction and testing of a full-scale prototype will be performed in Phase II.