RIDES: Raman Icing Detection System

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Michigan Aerospace Corp.
1777 Highland Drive Suite B
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Inflight icing of engines and airframe presents a significant hazard to air transport, especially at lower flight elevations during take-off or on approach. Ice accretions on the wings affect the smooth flow required for proper lift. A thin layer of coarse ice can reduce the lift by 30 percent and increase drag by up to 40 percent. In addition, accretions can also reduce the air intake in engines and affect readings from a (heated) Pitot tube. Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) proposes to continue the development of an integrated LIDAR instrument capable of identifying icing conditions while also allowing for air data sensing as well as other hazard detection capabilities. The resulting Raman Icing Detection System (RIDES), when coupled with MAC's optical air data solution, will provide unprecedented situational awareness and aircraft safety. The proposed solution will operate without protrusions into the flow, behind a common flush-mounted window on the skin of the aircraft, mitigating the risk of ice build-up during operation and therefore providing a critical redundancy through dissimilar measurement of air data parameters while greatly enhancing a pilot's awareness of potential icing hazards. MAC will build on its successful Phase I trade-study and design effort through the fabrication and demonstration of a Phase II prototype in an icing wind tunnel.