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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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