Airborne Remote Icing Condition Detection

Period of Performance: 10/15/2014 - 04/15/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


To address the Navy s need for an atmospheric ice detection/avoidance system for fixed wing and rotary aircrafts, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Airborne Remote Icing Condition Detection (ARICOD) system. This proposed system solution is based on a microwave radiometer utilizing an optically controlled Ka-band conformable microstrip patch array antenna and monolithic microwave integrated circuit components. Specifically, the innovative design of the proposed microwave radiometer utilizing low power, miniature components, and optically steerable microstrip antenna will enable the proposed system to measure microwave radiance at different zenith angles and to determine potential icing conditions along a flight path. As a result, this system offers low size, weight, power, and cooling (SWaP-C) requirements for an airborne icing hazard detection system and compatibility with various fixed and rotary wing aircrafts, which directly address the Navy s requirements. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of the ARICOD system through the performance of system design analysis, view angle dependent radiative transfer modeling, cloud water retrieval algorithm development, and verification of system performance using simulated data. In Phase II, POC plans to build a complete prototype and conduct tests both in the laboratory and on a surrogate test aircraft.