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Summary of the High Ice Water Content (HIWC) RADAR Flight Campaigns

AMA-NASA Langley Research Center-Justin Strickland, Patricia Hunt
FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center-Christopher Dumont
Published 2019-06-10 by SAE International in United States
NASA and the FAA conducted two flight campaigns to quantify onboard weather radar measurements with in-situ measurements of high concentrations of ice crystals found in deep convective storms. The ultimate goal of this research was to improve the understanding of high ice water content (HIWC) and develop onboard weather radar processing techniques to detect regions of HIWC ahead of an aircraft to enable tactical avoidance of the potentially hazardous conditions. Both HIWC RADAR campaigns utilized the NASA DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory equipped with a Honeywell RDR-4000 weather radar and in-situ microphysical instruments to characterize the ice crystal clouds. The purpose of this paper is to summarize how these campaigns were conducted and highlight key results.The first campaign was conducted in August 2015 with a base of operations in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Ten research flights were made into deep convective systems that included Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS) near the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, and Tropical Storms Danny and Erika near the Caribbean Sea. The radar and in-situ measurements from these ten flights were analyzed…
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Radar Detection of High Concentrations of Ice Particles - Methodology and Preliminary Flight Test Results

AMA - NASA Langley Research Center-Justin Strickland, Patricia Hunt, George Switzer
Federal Aviation Administration-Christopher Dumont
Published 2019-06-10 by SAE International in United States
High Ice Water Content (HIWC) has been identified as a primary causal factor in numerous engine events over the past two decades. Previous attempts to develop a remote detection process utilizing modern commercial radars have failed to produce reliable results. This paper discusses the reasons for previous failures and describes a new technique that has shown very encouraging accuracy and range performance without the need for any modifications to industry’s current radar design(s). The performance of this new process was evaluated during the joint NASA/FAA HIWC RADAR II Flight Campaign in August of 2018. Results from that evaluation are discussed, along with the potential for commercial application, and development of minimum operational performance standards for future radar products.
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HAIC/HIWC Field Campaign - Specific Findings on PSD Microphysics in High IWC Regions from In Situ Measurements: Median Mass Diameters, Particle Size Distribution Characteristics and Ice Crystal Shapes

Airbus-Alice Grandin
Airbus Operation SAS-Fabien Dezitter
Published 2015-06-15 by SAE International in United States
Despite past research programs focusing on tropical convection, the explicit studies of high ice water content (IWC) regions in Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS) are rare, although high IWC conditions are potentially encountered by commercial aircraft during multiple in-service engine powerloss and airdata probe events.To gather quantitative data in high IWC regions, a multi-year international HAIC/HIWC (High Altitude Ice Crystals / High Ice Water Content) field project has been designed including a first field campaign conducted out of Darwin (Australia) in 2014. The airborne instrumentation included a new reference bulk water content measurement probe and optical array probes (OAP) recording 2D images of encountered ice crystals.The study herein focuses on ice crystal size properties in high IWC regions, analyzing in detail the 2D image data from the particle measuring probes. Various geometrical parameters were extracted from the images in order to calculate particle size distributions (PSDs) and finally deduce median mass diameters with additional information on the ice density.The preliminary analysis of all HAIC/HIWC flights performed during this first flight campaign out of Darwin, demonstrates that…
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Naturally Aspirating Isokinetic Total Water Content Probe: Wind Tunnel Test Results and Design Modifications

NASA John Glenn Research Center-Thomas Ratvasky
National Research Council Canada-Craig Davison
Published 2011-06-13 by SAE International in United States
A total water content probe for flight- and ground-based testing is being completed. During operation across a range of altitudes and water content conditions, the probe has to maintain isokinetic flow, vaporize the solid and liquid water content and maintain the inlet ice free to ensure isokinetic flow. Despite achieving isokinetic operation, the collection efficiency of particles less than 30 μm can be less than 100%. A correlation of collection efficiency to Stokes number has been determined to correct the results for this effect. In preparation for flight testing an integrated data acquisition, control and power supply unit was developed and successfully tested. Results from testing at the NASA Glenn Icing Research Tunnel are presented covering both ice crystals and super-cooled liquid conditions. The results correspond well to previously published work and problems encountered during previous testing of this probe are shown to have been resolved.
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