Airplane Ice Detector Based on a Microwave Transmission Line

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-29279
Published June 01, 2004 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States
  • English

An electronic instrument that could detect the potentially dangerous buildup of ice on an airplane wing is undergoing development. The instrument is based on a microwave transmission line configured as a capacitance probe: at selected spots, the transmission-line conductors are partly exposed to allow any ice and/or liquid water present at those spots to act as predominantly capacitive electrical loads on the transmission line. These loads change the input impedance of the transmission line, as measured at a suitable excitation frequency. Thus, it should be possible to infer the presence of ice and/or liquid water from measurements of the input impedance and/or electrical parameters related to the input impedance.